The Eritrean rider Merhawi Kudus will leave the South African Team Dimension Data at the end of 2018 to race for the Kazakh Pro team of Astana.
He already signed a one-year contract to join Astana Pro Team in the upcoming season of 2019.
Merhawi said he is “very excited” by the transfer.
“I am so exited with my arrival to Astana Pro Team in the season of 2019. This is a big opportunity for me because Astana is one of the biggest cycling teams in the world. I hope to have a chance to improve a lot and at the same time to learn a lot and my expectations from this move are really high. I am looking forward to the upcoming season and really happy to join this great project,” said Merhawi Kudus.
Merhawi Kudus, 24 years old and the 2018 National Champion of Eritrea, is a pure climber and despite his young age, he already has a series of good results in the track record.
In 2017, for instance, Kudus won the best young rider jersey at the Tour of Oman, taking 4th place in the general classification.
In addition, he was 9th in the general classification of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and won a nice 2nd place in a stage of the Tour of Spain or Vuelta a España.
In 2018 Merhawi was 7th in the GC of the Vuelta a Burgos and became one of the most active riders at La Vuelta.
“Kudus is a very young and ambitious rider and I am curious how far he can reach in professional cycling,” says Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana.
“He is a climber, but at the same time, he has some good skills in the time trial races. This rider will strengthen our Grand tour group. At the same time, Merhawi still has to find his way in the peloton and I think that in Astana Team, he will have a chance to grow and to show himself,” he added.