1924 one-off inspires Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka campaign

Ahead of the Giro d'Italia, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka have launched a campaign to put #1000GirlsOnBikes. Scott Mitchell/Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka

A year ago Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka used the Giro d'Italia as inspiration to raise funds to get 100 girls on bikes... but this year they're aiming even higher.

Africa's Team, whose in-race goals will be to place Louis Meintjes as high up the general classification as possible and claim stage wins from the rest of their eight-rider squad, will also be promoting their #1000GirlsOnBikes campaign.

To draw attention to their campaign, the team have chosen the number 72 as their race graphic. The significance behind it is that it was the number worn by Alfonsina Strada, who is still the only woman to have ridden the Giro when she did so in 1924 on a bike she rode as a wedding present.

Further to their race graphic, Africa's Team will also be a bike -- a brightly-painted Qhubeka bike -- as the symbol of their two-month campaign to empower women and girls.

The Qhubeka bike, which was hand-painted by women who are involved in the Madikwe Rural Development Program, will be on display at the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire before being shown at the Tour of California.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's #1000GirlsOnBikes donation portal can be found at: https://www.bicycleschangelives.org