TOMORROW three Eritrean riders will have their first ever grand tour, the La Vuelta a Espana. They are Natnael Berhane from Team Europcar; Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot from African Team MTN-Qhubeka.
The 2014 La Vuelta a España, which gets underway on Saturday August 23rd, will be their first Grand Tour ever representing Africa.
As Africa’s first ever professional cycling team to race a Grand Tour, Team MTN-Qhubeka is extremely excited and very proud to announce the 6 African, out of which two are Eritreans, and 3 European riders that will make history and represent the squad at the 2014 La Vuelta a Espana.
Merhawi Kudus will be the youngest rider in the race.
For each and every these Eritrean riders starting La Vuelta a Espana is like a dream being realised. The motivation and morale among their respective team is high as they prepare to get started with tomorrow’s Team Time Trial (TTT).
Let’s wish them success.
MERHAWI KUDUS (Team MTN-Qhubeka)
I am really happy to be here at the Vuelta, before I think of any results the most important thing for me is that I am just here at the start. For my country, Eritrea, it is an important time in our history too. The bicycle is really famous back home, and now we have 3 Eritrean’s in this race. Whenever i look at Eritrean media they are always talking about us and the Vuelta, this shows me it is a good opportunity for us but also a difficult one. We have got lots of encouragement though so I look forward to trying to finish this race now that I am here.
DANIEL TEKLEHAIMANOT (Team MTN-Qhubeka)
I did my first grand tour with GreenEdge but now I am doing it with my home team from Africa so i’m a really excited and happy to be here. The first time I was here I was very stressed and I think that is normal but now that I have a little experience and I am with my home team I am definitely more motivated than the last time.
NATNAEL BERHANE (Team Europcar)
“For the last five years I have watched it every year on TV. In 2012 I started to imagine and hope that one day I would be there on the start line. It’s a dream come true.”