Sponsor Leaves African Cycling Team Despite Impressive Tour de France

July 29, 2015 Updated: July 30, 2015

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—The title sponsor of the African cycling team that made an impressive debut at the Tour de France says it is ending its agreement.

Despite praising the team’s performance, cellphone network MTN says its partnership with South Africa-based MTN-Qhubeka has “reached its conclusion.”

The announcement on Wednesday was a surprise after MTN-Qhubeka achieved a series of firsts at this month’s Tour, becoming the first African team in the Tour’s modern era and allowing two Eritreans riders to become the first from their country to ride at cycling’s top race.

The team also had meaningful results: One of the Eritreans, Daniel Teklehaimanot, became the first African to wear the polka dot jersey as leader of the mountains classification, and Stephen Cummings won a stage for the team.