By Cameroon Tribune,
ERITREAN born Mekseb Debesay who rides for the German club Bike Aid emerged the overall winner of the 14th edition of the Grand Prix International Chantal Biya which ended yesterday in Yaounde.
Debesay benefited from the fall of a group of Cameroonian cyclists to cover up a 22 seconds gap separating him from the race leader on the eve of the last lap, Kamzong Abessolo and win not only the lap but also the yellow jersey of the overall winner of the race. He also won the white jersey of the best youth and the sky blue jersey of the best African of the race. jerseies
However the green jersey for the general classification on points was won by Mraouni Sallah Edine of Morocco who also won white dotted red jersey reserved for the best climber.
Cameroon was left with only the consolatory prize of the beat team of the race which went to SNH velo club. The first Cameroonian on the general classification on points is Lontsi Yemeli Yannick who appears on the third position, followed by Kamzong Abessolo in the fourth position and Tekou Damien, ranked 5th.
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In addition to the accident, the poor performance of Cameroonian cyclists was attributed to the fact that they were competing with professionals and didn’t have enough competitions on foot like the foreigners.
The results confirm the predictions of analysts who saw the toughest challenge to Cameroon coming from Morocco and Germany.
It is worth noting that it is an athlete from the Bike Aid velo club from Germany who won the last cycling tour of Cameroon, namely Dan Craven. His absence from the Grand Prix let Cameroonian to lower the guard not knowing another craven was in the making in the person of Mekseb Debesay.
There was remarkable improvement in the organization of the race this year as people were fed and lodged on time. All along the rap, the public lined up the road sides to watch the race and cheer Cameroonian cyclists. There was special applause for the veteran cyclist, Joseph Kono.
The prize award ceremony at the end of the race was presided over by the Minister of Sports and Physical Education who lauded the courage of the First Lady Chantal Biya and the cycling federation for going ahead to organize the race with success despite the mishap that recently befell them with the passing away of the mother of the First Lady, Mboutchuang and that of the president of the federation, Moustapha Dogo.
There was a special gift from Madam Chantal Biya for the first ten cyclists of the race as well as for some officials and foreign delegations.
The ceremony was also attended by the chargé de mission at the Presidency, Bile Bidjang, the Moroccan ambassador to Cameroon and a host of other dignitaries.