By Tropicale Amissa Bongo,
Natnael BERHANE has been elected African Cyclist of the year 2012 by a jury sponsored by the Tropical Amissa Bongo and chaired by five-times Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault.
The award established this year for the first time by the organizers of Tropicale Amissa Bongo (Gabon) rewards African cyclist who made the strongest impact during the season of events including on the African continent.
The 21 year old young Eritrean easily won the vote with 72 points against 41 points for South African Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg and 39 points Moroccan Adil Jelloul.
Natnael Berhane marked the spirits for its regularity throughout the season he passed for the first time at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle where it is perfectly adapted to the high-level competition.
He was able to enjoy this new experience after wining three continental African league titles in early November in Ouagadougou (elite road race and hopes as well as against the clock by teams). He thus concluded its season in style after winning the Tour of Algeria before and two steps, and after distinguishing himself in Europe by winning the classic French amateur Tour of Chablais, and finishing third to a step in the U23 Nations Cup.
It was already noted in 2011 when he was beaten in the sprint French professional Jérôme Pineau from QuickStep team at the finish of the last stage of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Libreville.
The Europcar team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau followed him closely since this feat and made him sign a few weeks ago his first professional contract in 2013.
It is also noted during the next Tropical Amissa Bongo (14 – 20 January 2013) Natnael Berhane will debut with his new French teammates Pierre Rolland, Anthony Charteau and Christophe Kern that will help renew its performance and why not become the first rider to win the African Tropical Amissa Bongo.
Natnael Berhane, ahead of South Africa’s Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg who won three steps at the Tour of Morocco but is distinguished mainly on continental European racing calendar as the Tour of Britain, the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour of Overijssel that he won.
The third is the indefatigable Moroccan Adil Jelloul noticed this year for his second place in the final standings of the Tour of Morocco and Algeria Tower and third place at the Tropicale. [Software Translation]
1/. Natnael Berhane (Eritrea): 72 points
2/. Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa): 41
3/. Adil Jelloul (Morocco): 39
4/. Tarik Chaoufi (Morocco): 37
5/. Meron Russom (Eritrea): 18
6/. Azzadine Lagab (Algeria): 9
7/. Rasmané Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso): 8
8/. Youcef Reguigui (Algeria): 4
-/. Okbamariam Tesfom (Eritrea): 4
-/. Atsbha Getachew (Ethiopia): 4
11/. Daren Lill (South Africa): 2
12/. Jani Tewelde (Eritrea): 1
–/. Abraham Ruhumuriza (Rwanda): 1
–/. Muya Njoroge (Kenya): 1
VOTES OF THE JURY:
- Bernard Hinault (Chair): 1. Berhane, 2. Janse Van Renseburg 3. Chaoufi, 4. Lagab, 5. Jelloul
- Jean-Claude Hérault (organizer Tropical Amissa Bongo): 1. Berhane, 2. Janse Van Rensburg, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Russom, 5. Jelloul
- Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (UCI Continental Centre manager training – South Africa): 1. Janse van Rensburg, 2. Berhane, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Tesfom, 5. Atsbha
- Mostafa NAJJARI (National Technical Director of the Royal Federation of Cycling Morocco): 1. Jelloul 2. Chaoufi, 3. Atsbha, 4. Tesfom, 5. Ouedraogo
- Jonathan Boyer (national coach of Rwanda): 1. Janse van Rensburg, 2. Berhane, 3. Russom, 4. Tesfom, 5. Atsbha
- Michel Thèze (former coach of the UCI World Centre in Aigle, Switzerland): 1. Berhane, 2. Janse Van Rensburg, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Ouedraogo, 5. Ruhumuriza
- Olivier Grandjean (GSO, coordinator of African events): 1. Berhane, 2. Janse Van Rensburg, 3. Jelloul, 4. Chaoufi, 5. Lagab
- George Adou (Cycling Federation of Côte d’Ivoire): 1. Berhane, 2. Chaoufi, 3. Jelloul, 4. Lagab, 5. Russom
- Soufiane Coulibaly (Burkina Faso Speaker): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Janse Van Rensburg, 4. Russom, 5. Ouedraogo
- Christophe Jousset (RFI journalist): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Lill, 5. Njoroge Muya
- Lafleur Nguema (Gabon VTM): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Russom, 5. Ouedraogo
- Philippe Le Gars (L’Equipe journalist): 1. Berhane, 2. Janse Van Rensburg, 3. Jelloul, 4. Russom, 5. Chaoufi
- Serge Ranozino (Gabon TV): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Chaoufi, 4. Russom, 5. Ouedraogo
- Pambo Angel (TV Africa): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Lagab, 4. Janse Van Rensburg, 5. Russom
- Pierre Carrey (UCI Website journalist): 1. Janse van Rensburg, 2. Berhane, 3. Reguigui, 4. Ouedraogo, 5. Tewelde
- Adam Thierry (France Télévisions): 1. Berhane, 2. Jelloul, 3. Janse Van Rensburg, 4. Chaoufi, 5. Russom