By Mathieu Olivier,
LOOK no African representatives in the peloton of the Tour de France, which is slender, Saturday, July 5, from Great Britain and ending at Paris in just under three weeks. Once again, Africa is absent from the great mass of cycling, despite the beautiful hope glimpsed during the 2013/2014 season and plenty of races on the continent.
Indeed, if it was long believed to participation Natnael Berhane (Europcar), winner of the 2014 edition of the Tropical Amissa Bongo , the Eritrean in poor form in recent weeks, has had to resort to watching his teammates take start without him. Postponed without doubt one of the most promising riders in the professional peloton.
Also exit Daryl Impey, South Africa, the continent’s first representative to have worn the yellow jersey in the competition. Tested positive for anti-doping control at the South African championships in February 2014, he will not see the Champs Elysees this year.
Froome, “the African” Platoon
Until the fifth step, Africans have however been able to console themselves with the presence of defending champion Chris Froome. Born in 1985 in Nairobi, one short, since May 2008, under the colors of Britain, but began his career in the country of birth of mother, Kenya, which he left at age 15 to Johannesburg.
After winning his first stage race in the Tour of Mauritius in 2006 and participated in the Kenyan jersey, Commonwealth and World Championships hopes Games, Froome was still, in 2014, which was more on African roads Great loop. Unfortunately, suffered a fall on the roads of northern France, the Tour de France ended prematurely Wednesday, July 9.
An African team in 2015, a winner in 2020?
The absence of African however, should not last. The towers of Faso, Rwanda and Eritrea, or Tropical Amissa Bongo, are increasingly popular with professional teams, especially French, and many countries are trying to establish a lasting schedule without the International Cycling Union (UCI). Further north, the Maghreb is thus also speak of him with a blossoming one day races or stages, particularly in Algeria, but also in other Maghreb countries where experience is not lacking.
Some observers may even predict an African winner in 2020, when other, more down-to-earth, hoping the Great Loop, weakened by doping, found a second wind with the riders on the continent.
Anyway, it is time for optimism and the time when the continent was only representative of the Senegalese rifleman Banania representing the brand is probably a bad memory. The South African team MTN-Qhubeka has already announced its intention to participate with a mixed white and black African team at the Tour de France 2015.