Elected best African athlete of the year in 2013, Eritrean cyclist Natnael Berhane continued his winning streak by winning Tour of Gabon in January. Recruited by the French team Europcar, this young talent lives and trains in Vendée.
The Vendée is located 5,000 km from Asmara, the capital of his country, but yet it is in this french department that the Eritrean cyclist Natnael Berhane is housed. Since he was hired last year by the prestigious Team Europcar, he trains several hours a day on the roads of Vendée. Despite the rain, the good climber came from a mountainous country does not balk at the task. He has only one dream: to shine on the Grande Boucle. Continue reading Natnael Berhane, The Great Hope of African Cycling→
Those prophetic words, uttered earlier this year by none other than five time Tour de France winner Bernaud Hinault, were in reference to a promising performance by the Eritrean national team at January’s Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. Continue reading Are Eritreans The Next Colombians?→
Four days into the race, the national squad leads the African teams’ classification and have five riders in the top twenty overall, having matched strong European squads like Europcar and Lotto-Belisol blow for blow.
And all with a six-man team born entirely in the 1990s.
“They’re the next Colombians,” five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault says.
This good omen will turn the three Eritrean riders within the team (Ferekalsi Debesay, Meron Russom and Jani Tewelde) to become professional Cyclists by 2013.
By Mark Squire,
Team MTN-Qhubeka has become the first African team to join the second division of world cycling; the highest level from any team on the continent after the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed its status as a Professional Continental teamfor 2013.