Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam Voted African Cyclist of the Year 2016

The jury was chaired by Bernard Hinault, a five-time Tour de France winner and Chris Froome, a three-time Tour de France winner, as honorary member.

Tesfom Okbamariam Best Cyclist of the Year
The 2016 African Continental Champion and the overall leader of the UCI Africa Tour 2016 ranking, Tesfom Okbamariam is now voted Africa’s Best Cyclist of the Year. (Photo: PLG / L’Equipe)

By TesfaNews,

The 2016 African Continental Championship winner and UCI Africa Tour ranking leader for 2016, the Eritrean rider Tesfom Okubamariam has been selected Africa’s Best Cyclist of the Year 2016.

A jury chaired by Bernard Hinault, the five-time Tour de France winner, including sports directors, coaches, African and European journalists and riders such as Chris Froome, three times-Tour de France winner, had nominated 20 riders for the title.

Tesfom Okubamariam is, therefore, the fourth Eritrean cyclist to win the title since the trophy-award started in 2012 by Gabonese organizers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The purpose was to promot African cycling and recognize the rider who contributed, through his or her results, the most to make African cycling known.

Previous winners of the Best African Cyclists title includes Natnael Berhane (2012), South African Louis Meintjes (2013), Mekseb Debesay (2014) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (2015).

Louis Meintjes of Team Lampre-Merida, who finished 8th at the 2016 Tour de France, was among the favourites this year. However, the jury preferred to reward Tesfom Okbamariam for his exceptional and true representation of African talent.

“I saw Tesfom Okubamariam during Amissa Bongo Tropical in January standing up to the professionals,” says jury president Bernard Hinault.

“He still had the leader’s shirt on the eve of the finish. He deserves this trophy because he also gave in his way a beautiful image of African cycling but with fewer resources than the African riders who run in the World Tour teams. It’s all to his credit.”

Without a team for 2017

At the age of 26, Tesfom Okubamariam, a training partner of Daniel Teklehaimanot in Eritrea, won the African Continental Championship this year and dominated the UCI Africa Tour rankings.

Good performances that do not prevent him from being without a team for 2017, the Sharjah Team of the United Arab Emirates where he would run this year having just decided to stop the adventure last week.

“I hope this award will allow me to find a new team for next season,” said the winner Tesfom Okbamariam.

Nominees for the Best African Cyclist of 2016

  • Essaid Abelouache (Morocco, Nasr Dubai)
  • Joseph Areruya (Rwanda)
  • Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda – Dimension Data)
  • Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda – Team Stradalli-Bike Aid)
  • Adil Barbari (Algeria, Nasr Dubai)
  • Natnael Berhane (Eritrea – Dimension Data)
  • Isiaka Cisse (Ivory Coast – SC Nice Jollywear)
  • Eyob Metkel (Eritrea – Dimension Data)
  • Grmay Tsgabu (Ethiopia – Lampre-Merida)
  • Impey Daryl (South Africa – Orica BikeExchange)
  • Janse Van Rensburg Reinardt (South Africa – Dimension Data)
  • Jelloul Adil (Morocco – Skydive Dubaï)
  • Clovis Kamzong (Cameroon)
  • Lagab Azzedine (Algeria)
  • Lahsaini Mouhssine (Morocco)
  • Mansouri Abderrahmane (Algeria)
  • Louis Meintjes (South Africa – Lampre Merida)
  • Okubamariam Tesfom (Eritrea – Sharjah Team)
  • Sorgho Mathias (Burkina Faso)
  • Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eritrea, Dimension Data)

11 thoughts on “Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam Voted African Cyclist of the Year 2016

  1. Here the Eritrean sons and daughters like Tesfom Okubamariam has been selected as “Africa’s Best Cyclist of the Year 2016” , taking his country and people to fame and glory. Here they from all over the world making Eritrea shine brighter for all to see.
    Tesfom Okubamariam, congratulations for what you and are what you have become. Keep up the hard work and shall only be tomorrow you rise to more fame and glory.

    Thanks for making Eritrea proud!.

  2. Tesfom Okubamariam, African cyclist of the year 2016

    The Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam was elected African Cyclist of the Year 2016 by a jury of 26 members, which included the five times winner of the Tour de France Bernard Hinault and holding the current title Chris Froome . The 25 year old rider beat two former winners: Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida), 8th in the Tour de France this summer, and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data). Bernard Hinault welcomed this choice: ” Tesfom Okubamariam impressed me when Amissa Bongo Tropical in January, it has its place in the pros. He deserves this award because he gave it as his way to a beautiful image of the valiant African cycling but with less than Africans who run teams in World Tour. It is to his credit . ” Sacred African champion for the second time this year, Okubamariam also won the UCI Africa Tour and the Continental team title with Eritrea. The person must certainly hope that this trophy, he will receive in the next edition of the Tropical Amissa Bongo (from 27 February to 5 March), will serve as a springboard to find a team, who finds himself without a contract now the Sharjah Team where he played until stopped.

    Bernard Hinault at the Cyclism’Actu microphone



    L’Erythréen Tesfom Okubamariam élu Cycliste africain de l’année 2016

    Par RFI

    Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam was elected African Cyclist of the Year 2016 by a jury chaired by the five-time winner of the Tour de France Bernard Hinault and including twenty-five personalities from the African and European cycling world, including Chris Froome Triple winner of the Tour de France. This trophy created by the Gabonese organizers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in 2012 is meant to reward the African runner who through his results and his performances has been able to spread the image of African cycling throughout the world. At 26, Tesfom Okubamariam defeated two former trophy winners, South African Louis Meintjes, 8th in the 2016 Tour de France and another Eritrean, Daniel Teklehaimanot. Tesfom Okubamariam dominated the 2016 African calendar where he accumulated the continental road title and first place in the UCI Africa Tour standings. At the last Tropical Amissa Bongo, Tesfom Okubamariam wore the Yellow jersey for a day. Tesfom Okubamariam is the first African amateur to grab this tunic. The members of the jury wanted to highlight a hope of African cycling that has not yet had the chance to pass professional. He will receive his trophy at the next edition of the Tropical Amissa Bongo which will take place in Gabon from 27 February to 5 March 2017.

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