The Eritrean rider and member of the World Cycling Centre (WCC), Natnael Berhane, will be a trainee for the reserves of Team Europcar cycling squad during the end-of-season period.
This experience at Vendée U-Pays de la Loire, a Vendée based, first national division club in France, constitutes an important step for Natnael Berhane in his quest for a professional contract.
Natnael Berhane, 21, was initially trained at the Continental Centre for Cycling (CCC) in South Africa and then since 2011 at the World Cycling Centre (UCI) in Aigle, Switzerland.
Renowned for his qualities as a puncher, Natnael Berhane was crowned Continental Champion of Africa in November 2011. That same year, he won a stage of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. This season, he had four victories, including the final rankings of the Tour d’Algérie and the Tour de Chablais. He also finished second in a stage of the Tuscany-Terre de Cyclisme event, a race that goes towards the Under 23 Nations Cup.
Currently riding in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta, Berhane will take a week’s rest before beginning his training with the Vendée U-Pays de la Loire (Vendée U) club. The training will last about a month, before he leaves to participate in the Tour de l’Avenir.
Jean-Jacques Henry, Trainer at the World Cycling Centre, is convinced that “Natnael Berhane is ready for the experience” with Vendée U.
“He clearly has the potential to go professional, and we hope that this experience with the reserve team will open the door for him in this respect,” added Mr Henry.
“The collaboration with the Team Europcar is very important for the World Cycling Centre,” explains Frédéric Magné, Director of the WCC. “Jean-René Bernaudeau has always encouraged the development of cycling throughout the world, and particularly in Africa. He is therefore very interested in the training activities at the WCC. We are happy that such a great cycling team has this philosophy.”
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