Six of Eritrea’s finest cyclists – Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Mekseb Debesay, Metkel Eyob and Tesfom Okbamariam – have been chosen among the 24 nominated candidates for the 2013 Best African Cyclist of the Year award.
The organiser of the award, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, runs this second edition of the award to succeed Natnael Berhane of Eritrea who voted the Best African Cyclist of the Year in 2012.
According to reports released yesterday, Natnael Berhane and Merhawi Kudus from Eritrea have been selected to be part of the five finalists for the best African cyclist of the year 2013 nomination together with Haddi Sufian of Morocco, Impey Daryl and Meintjes Louis both from South Africa.
Organisers argue such distinction will help to promote African cycling and encourage riders of the Continent in their sport. This trophy will allow the recipient to have recognition in Africa and beyond.
The jury is chaired by the five times winner of the Tour de France, Bernard Hinault and winner of the 2013 Tour de France Chris Froome. The diversity of the jury ranges from various backgrounds and various functions (trainers, riders, organisers, journalists, etc.).
As the name of the award suggests, the nominated cyclists are all of an African nationality, regardless of whether they race for a pro-continental team or a foreign professional team. It is also open to all African riders selected to represent their national team.
The winner will be officially announced at the end of December 2013, and the prize will be awarded at the ninth edition of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo that will be held in January 2014.
The 24 Riders Nominated for the 2013 Best African Cyclist of the Year award are:
ABELOUACHE Essaid– Morocco – 33 – National Team of Morocco
BARBARI Adil – Algeria – 20 – Vélo-Club Sovac (Alg)
BERHANE Natnael – Eritrea – 22 – Team Europcar (Fra)
CHABANE Hichem – Algeria– 25 – Vélo-Club Sovac (Alg)
CHTIOUI Rafaa – Tunisia – 27 – National Team of Tunisia
CISSE Issiaka – Ivory Coast – 22 – Cycling World Center UCI (Swi)
DEBESAY Mekseb – Eritrea – 22 – MTN-Qhubeka Cycling Center Africa Team (Rsa)
EYOB Metkel – Eritrea – 20 – National Team of Eritrea
GIRDLESTONE Dylan – South Africa – 24 – Westvaal-BMC (Rsa)
GRMAY Tsgabu – Ethiopia – 22 – MTN-Qhubeka (Afs)
HADI Janvier – Rwanda – 22 ans – National Team of Rwanda
HADDI Soufian – Morocco – 22 – National Team of Morocco
HANNACHI Abdelbaset – Algeria – 28 – GSP Algérie (Alg)
IMPEY Daryl – South Africa – 28 – Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)
JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinhardt – South Africa – 24 – Argos-Shimano (Ned)
JELLOUL Adil – Morocco – 31 – National Team of Morocco
KUDUS Merhawi – Eritrea – 19 – Cycling World Center UCI (Swi)
LAGAB Azzedine – Algeria – 25 – GSP Algérie (Alg)
MEINTJES Louis – South Africa – 21 – MTN-Qhubeka (Rsa)
NDAYISENGA Valens – Rwanda – 19 – National Team of Rwanda
NIKIEMA Abdoul Aziz – Burkina Faso – 24 – National Team of Burkina Faso
NGUE NGOCK Yves – Cameroon – 24 – AVC Aurillac (Fra) / SNH Vélo-Club (Cam)
OKUBAMARIAM Tesfom – Eritra – 22 – MTN-Qhubeka Cycling Center Africa (Rsa)
TEKLEHAIMANOT Daniel – Eritrea – 25 – Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)