It has been a very joyful week for the Eritrean cycling fans as one of their favorite team, AS.BE.CO, won this year’s edition of the Tour of Rwanda representing Eritrea while the national team gears up to defend its three consecutive championship title in the upcoming Continental Championship.
This UCI 2.2 rated, eight-stage tour has called for the participation of 16 countries. However, for the five men team from AS.BE.CO, the presence of the continent’s finest and experienced riders doesn’t deter them from emerging as the overall best team by upstaging every other team in the tournament including the tour’s favorite and the continent’s first and only pro-continental cycling team, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung of South Africa.
Accordingly, Metkel Eyob concludes 3rd in the general classifications followed by Aron Debretsion 5th and Bereket Yemane 8th. Metkel Eyob has also conquered all the climbs from the start to end up 1st in the mountains classification besides winning stage 6 of the tour. His class win must have got the attention of UCI officials.
Meanwhile, this year’s African Continental Championship will be held at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh from November 29 to December 5.
The Eritrean team as the continent’s defending champions are now heading to Egypt to make history. According to national team coach Musie Asihiel, the men and women’s team had been making intensive training since 11 November to maintain its championship lead for the fourth time.
Africa’s finest and professional rider Daniel Teklehaimanot and Meron Rusom will compete with senior teams while the 2012 defending champion and professional rider Natnael Berhane along with young talent Merhawi Kudus, Meron Tosheme and Tesfom Okbamarial would compete in the under-23 category.
Women’s team participating in the competition will consist to Wohazit Kidane, Yerusalem Gebru, Tsehainesh Futsum and Senait Megis.
It is to be recalled that the Eritrean National Cycling Team had been the undisputed African champion in three continental competitions held in Rwanda (2010), Eritrea (2011) and in Burkina Faso (2012) and each time by sweeping all the gold medals available leaving the rest of the competitors to fight for the silver and bronze.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –