Eritrean Amanuel Ghebrezgabher become Overall Winner of Tour de Blida

After winning successfully the Tour d’Algerie last week, Eritrean cyclists again won another international cycling race in Algeria and come out victorious on the General, Team and Youth Classifications. 

The 4th round of the Grand Tour of Algeria cycling (GTAC 2014) has come to its conclusion with the triumph of Eritrean Amanuel Ghebrezgabher
The 4th round of the Grand Tour of Algeria cycling (GTAC 2014) has come to its conclusion with the triumph of Eritrean Amanuel Ghebrezgabher

By Alula Abraha,

The International cycling Tour de Blida in Algeria have been concluded today with a victory of Eritrean rider Amanuel Ghebrezgabher who have clinched the tour to become the new overall winner.

Preliminary result shows that he has snatched the championship off home favorite Azzedine Lagab. The young Eritrean covered the distance in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 54 seconds.

Amanuel has held on a formidable challenge by Jean Bosco Nsengimana of Rwanda who finished 2nd place, 1 minute and 5 seconds after the Eritrean winner. Compatriot Bereket Yemane completed the last podium place in 3rd position. 

Once again, the riders of the Eritrean National Team have shown a real demonstration of their climber talent.

Yesterday, Eritrean riders were the only team that had finished in the top 20 but only four out of the six Eritreans will be seriously contending for the championship medals.

It was remembered that Azzedine Lagab had famously finished 3rd on the podium in the 2012 tour of Eritrea after his performance on the Massawa-Asmara climb. But his performance on his home course of Chrea climb last year wasn’t good at all after finishing nearly 3 minutes behind Aron Debretsion. Today, ahead of a similar Chrea climb, he was holding on only a slender 8 second lead over four Eritreans including Aron.

Registered on the UCI calendar-AfricaTour, the International Tour de Blida allow the first three of each stage and the winner of the Tour, to glean maximum points for a qualification to the next world championships in cycling and the Olympics Rio 2016. The win, therefore, will automatically qualifies Amanuel Ghebrezgabher to become the second Olympian for his country Eritrea.

Daniel at the 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico and Giro Analysis

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Today is also the last stage of the 7 staged world tour of Tirreno Adriatico in Italy. Despite Daniel’s and his teammate’s  role has been to support their race leader, Sergio Pardilla of Spain, he was sadly eliminated after a crush in the 2nd round where Daniel was amongst the 5 break-away leaders for over 150km of the 189km race course. But since Sergio’s elimination, the baton for MTN’s team leadership was passed onto Kristian Sbaragli of Italy.

The Tirreno-Adriatico race is usually taken as a warm up to the famous Grand World Tour of Giro d’Italy and MTN is trying to impress the organisers to get a change to take part in it.

Natnael’s team is certainty take part but only two of his teammates are confirmed a place in it while seven await a decision. As the greatest climber along with Pierre Rolland in team Europcar, Natnael is expected to be included in the starting line up for the Giro. Natnael is not only a good climbed but also an expert in multi-stage races as well as a formidable sprinter.

Eritreans would be flabbergasted if he isn’t included in the starting list. If MTN-Qhubeka is given the green light for the Giro, not only Daniel but also Merhawi is expected to take part.

Today, in the last day of Tirreno-Adriatico, Daniel is expected to perform on an individual level for the first time in seven days when all riders would race against time in stage-7’s ITT.

Jani Tewolde not in Netherlands

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Jani Tewolde was in the starting list until days before the Rond der Drenthe of the EuroTour in Holland. For reasons only known to the team, Jani was dropped out of the starting list in the last minute. Such practice has been ongoing and lame excuses given by the former team of Daniel, Orica GreenEdge, was “Visa“.

Visa problem for a pro riders in a team roaster with contract is unheard of. All the team needed to do is get a year visa to their pro riders for Eurotour (Shengen Visa that would allow them to go almost everywhere in Europe for a year). How is that impossible for a pro-team. Let alone for pro-teams, even team Eritrea can easily secure visas for its riders for the Euro championship and other runs in EuroTours.

For fear of damaging Daniel’s career at his Orica GreenEdge team last year, many facts were withheld from posting during the unbelievable 8 months of no race day for a continental champion, Daniel. Now that he has left the club, the systematic stumbling block (mainly pressure exerted by sponsors) on Eritrean riders will be posted soon.

Stay tuned for results and analysis tonight.

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