|Eritreans Teklehaimanot and Berhane are ensemblesur race World Tour|
This is the first time that two Africans come together in a single World Tour race. "We are living a dream," they let go, with a smile that speaks volumes. ls know how lucky they are to be professional, having had to leave their country due to insufficient infrastructure. Spotted Eritrea (*) with their many victories as an amateur, and Daniel Natnael integrated the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle (Switzerland) to advance and foresee professionalism.
"Cycling is one of the most popular sports in our country, says Teklehaimanot (24) and pro since last year in the Australian team GreenEdge Orica, based in Italy. Eritreans enjoy cycling. When I ' was young, I watched the big races on television, I thought it was unattainable ... And now there is "To achieve this, the World Centre was an obligatory point of passage for many young people as cyclists from emerging countries.
"Without the World Cycling Centre, it would not become pro" (Daniel Teklehaimanot) It was therefore not surprising to see an Ivorian and a Mexican with a jersey CMC last Sunday at the start of the Dauphiné in Champéry (about twenty miles from Eagle) "We learn all.'s Position on a bike, the science of race, tactics, how to roll, rub out, diet, improve our efforts ... In short, anything that helps to improve to become a real runner, says Daniel Teklehaimanot, the pioneer past by MCC between 2009 and 2011. Otherwise, we would not become professional. "
He quickly proves the benefits of this learning and finished a promising sixth place finish at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2009. The following year, he won five titles at stake at the African Championships. This climber, also good rider, sees then offer two-year contract with Orica. This trajectory has obviously inspired his young compatriot Natnael Berhane (22 years). "I arrived at CMC in 2011, says neo-pro Europcar. Had a year together, Daniel helped me a lot."
That's an understatement! The second was even a "model" for the first. After starting small by VTT, Berhane is passed on the road by 2006. He followed in the footsteps of Teklehaimanot, winning also all national titles in the age categories and then its successor the continental record. "Since he was little, I know he is capable of excellent performance, says the elder, returning to competition after a seven-month absence due to a visa problem. We are very good friends. We train together, we run together in the national team, we speak in shopping, online, on the phone. I explained everything to him, I suggested, but now he did not need me anymore! "
"Daniel has opened a way, I followed. Hopefully others will follow" Natnael Berhane
Natnael, who lives at the mansion Dessessart where Europcar seat, made a big splash in the world of the elite of the Tour of Turkey. End of April, there won the most difficult step, a summit finish at Elmali, which allowed him to wear the leader's jersey for three days. "I could not imagine having these results, it was amazing ", he says in his soft voice, which contrasts with its explosive nature on a bike. This week, the Dauphiné, they are satisfied with their mate role. "I am happy and lucky to be there, repeats at Natnael. This is a great race and more, we have the jersey yellow, with David Veilleux. This is perfect! "
However, the overall shows that they still bearing a cross:. Daniel is 98th in 12'47 "and the leader is ... Natnael 99th at 13'04" "For three years, I saw a dream, but I know it takes much work continues Europcar rider. Daniel has opened a way, I followed and now I hope that more of our countrymen succeed in becoming a professional. "
This modesty does not prevent them from having "a lot of dreams." If Daniel Teklehaimanot finished 92nd in the previous Dauphiné and participated in his first major Tour last year (146th in the Vuelta), both Eritreans have eyes that glow when they talk about the Tour. But neither the one nor the other will be the Tour de France on June 29.
Hope to participate in the 2014 guide there every day.