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Three Eritrean Riders To Compete in Tour de France

From left to right: Natnael Berhane, Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot

Three Eritrean Riders To Compete in Tour de France

By Bereket Kidane

For such a small country, Eritrea is becoming epic in the cycling world.  Its cycling team is becoming among the best in the world, its riders winning in top European contests.  Per capita, Eritrea probably has the most cycling medals in international competitions.   Its cycling team, Team Eritrea, is unquestionably the reigning heavyweight in Africa.  Asmara has once again become the cycling capital of Africa because that is where the champions live.

There are many reasons why Eritrean riders are enjoying a lot of success in the international arena and why cycling as a sport is popular in Eritrea.  To name a few: Eritrea has bike friendly cities, its love of sporting culture in general, great weather, and an investment in the sport by the Government of Eritrea.

Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot, and Merhawi Kudus will represent their professional team, MTN Qhubeka,  and their native country Eritrea in the Tour de France in July, the oldest and most prestigious tour in the world.

 Eritrean riders are expected to do well because they are experienced mountain riders and have always done well in mountainous time trials as they did in Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.  Daniel Teklehaimanot recently defended his Polka dot jersey by winning the mountainous classification for the second straight year.

Cycling as a sport has a long history in Eritrea with legends like Saglimbeni, Tesfaldet Hailom,  Zeragabr, Giovanni Massola, Yemane and Gegante to name a few.  Those legends of yesteryears were denied glory on the international stage because of politics.  Even during the dark days of Ethiopian occupation, thousands of fans used to line up early in the morning to get the best view in the Sunday competition on the main palm-lined boulevards stretching from St. Mary’s Coptic Church (Enda Mariam) to Fiat Tagliero in Gejeret.

Daniel Teklehaymanot, Natnael Berhane, Merhawi Kudus, Frekalsi Debesay and others are the descendants of Salambini and Tesfaldet.  They are carrying on Asmara’s proud cycling legacy. They are living the dream that was denied to those Eritrean legends of yesteryears and enjoying the fruits of independence.  We wish them well in this year’s Tour de France.

 Go Team MTN-Qhuebka! Go Team Eritrea!

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Three Eritrean Riders To Compete in Tour de France Reviewed by Admin on 8:57 PM Rating: 5


  1. Cngratualtion to Natnael, Daniel and Merhawi.
    The kings of the majestic Eritrean mountains will represent the land of the can do people, the land of the heroic and heroin who sacrificed everything for our dignity, identity and basic rights to be the kings in our homes, hills and majestic mountains.

    Long Live Eritrea and her Gallant People

  2. Long live Eritrea!
    Long live the revolution!
    Long live Shaebia!

  3. Congrats to Nat, Dan, Merhawi. It is the honor of a lifetime to compete in Le Tour. It's the superbowl of cycling. It's the World Cup of Cycling. You have already made us proud. Now go out and win one for yourselves.

  4. I have no doubt that there will be an Eritrean winner at the podium of Tour de France someday.

  5. Is it confirmed that 3 of of them will be participating in the tour de france?? I know at least 1 of them is garuanted a place. It is a massive achievment. A dream come true!! But i must say i follow the tour every year and it one if the hardest sports ever. So lets not put a pressure on them. Just finishing the long tour by itself is seen as a major achievement. A stage win would be icing on the cake.

  6. ዓወት ንሓፋሽ !!!June 13, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Yes, today's Eritrean cyclists are beneficiaries of the armed struggle for independence.

    መስዋእቲ was ዋጋ ሓርነት!

    ዘልኣለማዊ ዝኽሪ ንስዉኣትና
    ዓወት ንሓፋሽ !!!

  7. ኣሌክ - Alec youJune 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    We are proud of you, deqi halal meriet. Erey is proud!!!..Go get em tigers!!!...

  8. Gooo ganta mtn.. kidbeka ....

  9. Thanks brothers to make us PROUD to be Eritreans.


  11. Bereket
    Thanks God the GREAT NEWS.
    I hope it is confirmed.
    Regardless, I'm excited & already getting goosebumps.

    Long Live Eritrean Cycling
    Long Live Shaebia.

  12. I'm not sure either, but below is the link to my google search ...

  13. Natnael Berhane and Daniel Teklehaimanot are guaranteed. Merhawi Kudus is also likely to compete but he is not confirmed. At least two Eritreans but possibly three.

  14. This is amazing stuff! Eritrean Daniel TekleHaimanot has won the 2015 Polka Dot Jersey at Tour de France. There is only four jerseys to be won at the Tour de France every year. The Polka Dot is one of them, which goes to the best climber in mountainous competition. There is another jersey that goes to the best young rider. One that goes to the most points accumulated (which is Lance Armstrong won) and one more for something else. That's it. So this is huge win for Daniel Teklehaymanot. History has been made.

  15. It seems true! Let us cross our fingers all of them to succeed if not one of them or else the level their reached is great!


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