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Natnael Berhane subjected to racist abuse at Tour of Austria

Natnael Berhane at Tour of Austria

African team MTN-Qhubeka complains of racism on Tour of Austria

By Press Association

MTN-Qhubeka, the first African team to ride at the Tour de France, has written to cycling’s world governing body after claiming one of its riders was racially abused at a race in Austria on Wednesday.

Natnael Berhane, from Eritrea, is alleged to have been subjected to racist abuse by Branislau Samoilau, a Belarusian who rides for the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team, during stage four of the Tour of Austria and the squad took his complaint to the UCI.

On Thursday, CCC Sprandi Polkowice acknowledged an unsavoury incident had taken place but did not address the question of the abuse being racist.

MTN-Qhubeka’s team principal, Douglas Ryder, said: “One of the riders from another team said to Natnael Berhane get out of the way you effing n*****. Just outrageous.”

A statement from CCC Sprandi Polkowice read: “In the heat of the battle some words have been said by our rider, which were very unfortunate and unacceptable. We, as a team, do not tolerate that kind of behaviour and the rider will suffer consequences.

“Before the next stage the situation has been clarified between two teams and the riders, but we don’t want to get into details.” The UCI has been contacted for a response.

Qhubeka is a charity – World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa – and means ‘to carry on’, ‘to progress’, “to move forward”. It is understood Samoilau will donate a month’s salary to the organisation.

MTN-Qhubeka, based in South Africa, is beginning to make an impact on major races.Johann van Zyl, Berhane’s team-mate, won stage five of the Tour of Austria on Thursday, when Daniel Teklehaimanot claimed enough points to take the Tour de France’s King of the Mountains polka dot jersey, in so doing becoming the first black African to take a major jersey at a Grand Tour.

Teklehaimanot, one of two Eritreans in MTN-Qhubeka’s Tour team, won the King of the Mountains title at the Critérium du Dauphiné last month, demonstrating his huge potential.

The majority of the professional peloton is supportive but there have been unfortunate incidents, with the Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen and American Tyler Farrar sometimes having to intervene. “Some of the riders are struggling to grasp what we are doing here. They are in the minority, I’m glad to say,” Ryder added.

“One of the biggest teams in the world last year in the Tour of Spain, when we were trying to bring one of our riders to the front going into the mountains, [said] ‘you guys don’t belong here, fuck off to the back of the bunch’. We have riders like Tyler and Edvald, riders who are well respected in the peloton, and they are their team-mates, and they say ’hey guys, come on, these guys deserve to be here’.

“And we have had massive support from the major team owners and bosses.” “Guys like Shayne Bannan [of Orica-GreenEdge], Dave Brailsford [Team Sky], Viacheslav Ekimov [Katusha]. Those guys love this team. They believe they should be here.”
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Natnael Berhane subjected to racist abuse at Tour of Austria Reviewed by Admin on 5:20 AM Rating: 5


  1. FUCK these white supremest devils. I wish they would come to Africa with that bullshit.

  2. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you have any idea what was like to play football in the 80s and 90s in Europe?? John Barnes and john fashanu would have a story to tell. J Barnes was abused by his own funs for scoring for England.
    Never mind, one day South Africa or Eritrea will bring all Africans together and take cycling in to the next level in Africa.

  3. Is already know that sport is racist per se, among humans not to point the finger to westerns like a sign of inferiority, complex of being weak..
    Eritrea is a model of change

  4. Fear ...Fear ... Fear.. and intimidation forces some f*ckers to resort to the obvious ...racist slurs. Get use to it Belarus peasants and alike, now we have the Polkadot Jersey and tomorrow the Yellow Jersey and in the years to come your team sponsors and managers will start to notice and they will replace every white rider with Eritrean rider and Belarusians and your fellow f*ckers will have a new job, you'll be pilling potatoes for a living in your sh!thole villages. Us Eritrean supporters should demonstrate and put pressure on behalf of Eritrea and Africa on the companies/sponsors of those racist teams, the sponsors eventually will react and drop the teams, this approach has worked in the past, special with the racist soccer team of Lazio, due to racist act of the athletes and, all sponsors took off their company's logo from the team's jersey, thus Lazio was forced to sink into a public relations nightmare and spent millions of dollars to fix up its image by putting words such as "NO RACISM" on the front of its plain sponsor-less blue jersey. So lets attack the sponsors and collaborate on this mission with our South African fans, lets create a network, a strong coalition and attack the sponsors and the corrupt UCI as well.

  5. Eritrean heroes, there is no need to come down to their low and low level. Besides those who suffer from "inferiority complex" do resort such low and uncivilized behavior; they just could not help it.

    Deki Ere, just give them "Hell" on the road until they understand the difference between "superiority" and"inferiority"

  6. Usually, ugly words comes from ugly and evil person to intimidate and demoralize the innocent.
    However, it is very important to take the necessary action to punish and to teach the right behavior to the irresponsible evil indented person. Hence, it is the responsibility of the Tour de France Committee to give a lesson to the coward cyclist as well to the other cyclists to watch their mouth. In addition, the World Cyclist Commission must bring a motion "NO RACISM" like the World Football Commission". Any person has his/her own identity and is proud of his/her own race. However, a person who fail to compete bring the dirt game of racism. Racist is failure!
    NATNAEL will make history as usual!

  7. Anyone with twitter accounts please use the following hashtag with the following picture:

    #RacistCyclist #BranislauSamoilau @CCC_Sprandi

    Let's SHAME this Racist Nazi Boy!

  8. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 10, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    They are frustrated, this is sign of inferiority-complex, becuz Eritreans/Africans are kicking their behind in they're own turf. Ha-ha-ha... Yes Branislau Samoilau scream like a bitch that u are!!!.. U cant take the heat of the Eritrean flare!!! LOL..

  9. They are inferior to Black's and they know that. What ever they can do, we can do it extremely better. Their insecure, they know their father (black man) has entered the race, which means the end of their careers.

  10. Madot, please lets not include bad words in our comment. This is un eritrean to share ideas. way Thank you.

  11. Danny already effed them to death!
    Go Daniel!
    Eritreanism @ its BEST again by the kids of the Yoka'alo"!

  12. Where are the "opposition" or "Eritrean human rights champions" (aka Eritrean enemies and Haters)? Shouldn't you have all over the media protecting your Eritrean Cyclist "Brothers"?

  13. Thanks Fedaeen,i want that cool jersey with Eritrean flag.If it is on sale i am buying it no matter how much it cost.Then i will ask Daniel to autograph it.

  14. You are really FEDAEEN i agree with every word you said.Proud of you brother for telling this racists how we feel towards them.They can't intimidate Eritreans. Because we so proud of our self bordering arrogance.This kind of racist remarks is going to piss of our heroes they are going to turn it to their advantage.

  15. If Branislau calls you a nigger, he is calling you something you ain't.The nigger exists only in his own freak mind; therefore his mind is the nigger. I must feel sorry for such a jerky man.

  16. well said my friend, well said :) cheers to Daniel & all Eritreans !!!!

  17. Madote and friends, please publish this image on your tweeter accounts as well. Cheers !!!!


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