Pre-Race Analysis of the last stage 2014 Tropicale Amissa Bongo Tour of Gabon
|Eritrean Cycling Team - 2011|
Pre-Race Analysis of the last stage 2014 Tropicale Amissa Bongo Tour of
By Alula Ghermazion,
It has been a nervy couple of hours before the start of the last stage-7 of 2014 Amissa Bongo Tour of Gabon. The last 6 days has seen the GC (General championship classification) dominated by the 3 riders (Sanchez, Garcia & Natnael) almost from the start a week ago till this hour in the run up to the penultimate last stage-7 that is about to start any minute now.
Yesterday before the start of stage 6, their tactic has been very predictable. They just stayed closer to each almost like Siamese triplets finishing all the 6 stages so far wheel-to-wheel at the same time as each other. The only few seconds gaps shown in their GC(General classification) positions are only a result of courtesy of bonus times they had collected either as stage, mountain &/or Hot-points podium wins. Natnael's performance yesterday as compared to the performance of his nearest rivals was out of this world. It can be seen in the time gap that he had managed to slash as seen before, during and after the stage-6 race yesterday.
At the beginning of the stage-6, the 2 Spaniards, Sanchez & Garcia were leading the GC in 1st & 2nd positions with only 1 second apart while Natnael followed 7 seconds adrift in 3rd position. But as the race continues, there were 3 hot-points where a maximum 3 seconds in each hot-points finishes, potentially totaling 9 seconds of bonus times to be collected. In the first hot-point sprint finish @the 22km mark, a tough fight for maximum points saw Natnael getting the better of the two Spaniards by crossing the line in 1st place, followed by Sanchez & Garcia, respectively. 3 valuable bonus seconds for Natnael and 2 & 1 for Sanchez & Garcia, respectively helped Natnael to claw back and put pressure on his rivals by slashing the time lead to 6 seconds. But after these GC leaders decided to recuperate, the GC leaders tactically chose to take it easy on the second hot point sprint finish at 42km mark, where it was eventually won by the Burkina Faso endurance rider, Rosemane followed by the young Sawa lad, Meron Teshome in 2nd place and saleh Mrouni of Morocco in 3rd place. But, decidedly, the 3 GC leaders perfectly poised themselves in order to collect the last bonus times available @64km mark. The graceful rider, Natnael Berhane of Eritrea recently crowned 2013 African best sportsperson of the year, once again outdone his nearest GC rivals to the sprint finish collecting all the 3 points again. The only difference in the last hot-point sprint was that Garcia replaced his countryman, Sanchez for the 2nd place, peeping him for the valuable 2 seconds bonus. (
The fact that Natnael managed to collect a maximum of 6 seconds as compared to 3 each for Garcia & Sanchez. Natanel’s performance was indeed so extraordinary that he was officially crowned as the most combative rider for stage-6.
As this report is being posted, the last stage-7 Owendo-Libreville decider race has just began and can be followed live on French TV5 or live twitter update on the official twitter page ( @tropicale2014 ). It’s remembered that Natnael Berhane has won the very same race-course on the last day 3 years ago at the tender age of only 20 in 2011. Is the writing on the wall? Is he going to do it again? If there is one athlete who can stay cool & perform under such immense pressure, it is none other than Natnael Berhane of Eritrea & Europcar. The stage is set, the athletes are poised but unfortunately there is only one champion who will emerge later today.
Pre-Race Analysis of the last stage 2014 Tropicale Amissa Bongo Tour of Gabon Reviewed by Admin on 7:38 AM Rating: