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  1. Stage 9 of the Tour de France took riders into Andorra and it was Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) who took the stage spoils from a large breakaway. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) finished 2nd and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) took 3rd on the stage. Click here to view the article
  2. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, the stage did not get off to a great start as Mark Renshaw had to abandon the race due to illness picked up overnight. Renshaw was instrumental in our opening week success, delivering Mark Cavendish to his 3 stage victories. Our Australian took the start but after less than 5km of racing it was clear that Renshaw could not continue. The stage went on though and our African Team wanted to be part of the action despite the sad news. Daniel Teklehaimanot was one of the first riders of the day to attack as the race went up the first of 5 categorised climbs for the day. A number of counter attacks followed while Team Sky also kept a consistently high tempo going in the peloton. Eventually it was 20 riders who were allowed clear and Natnael Berhane was representing Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in the move. With so much climbing throughout the day, it was a nervous stage for Cavendish and our African Team with the time cut being a constant threat. After the first big climb, Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel were 2 minutes behind the rest of the race and so apart from Berhane in the break and Serge Pawuwels in the yellow jersey group, the rest of our riders went back to help pace Cavendish and Eisel back to the pack. It was a strong show of teamwork which proved successful. As the race made its way into Andorra for the final 50km and where the final 3 climbs of the stage awaited, Berhane was still present in the lead group, Pauwels was riding well in the 35 rider yellow jersey group and a large grupetto of more than 70 riders had formed containing the rest of our African Team. With a number of strong climbers in the break, they were able to maintain enough of an advantage by the time the final climb to Andorre Arcalis began, ensuring they would decide the stage. Dumoulin went away just as the rain started to fall and his attack could not be matched. Berhane slowly started to fade on the final climb and was eventually caught by the select yellow jersey group with 3km to go. It was still a good showing by our Eritrean, and one from which he would have gained much experience. The grupetto came in a little over 30 minutes down on Dumoulin and Cavendish was able to retain the lead in the Green Jersey points competition as we head into the first rest day of this year's Tour de France. From the start many riders wanted to be in the break. We were 35 riders at first, Contador and Valverde were there as well and the peloton didn't want them to go away. Finally, they dropped back to the peloton and we started to pull harder on the front to get a gap. In the final the attacks started and I tried to follow as much as I could because I was hoping to make a top 10 result. I couldn't do it today but I hope to have a good rest now so that I can try again to get a good result. Natnael Berhane - Rider
  3. After coming back to the team last year, Janse van Rensburg has confirmed his talent by winning the overall of the Tour de Langkawi, Asia’s most iconic stage race, in March 2016. The 27-year-old was also a key member of our Tour de France squads in 2015 and 2016, where he has been a vital support rider for our African team. Besides that he has shown his strength at the classics. Fellow South African Nic Dougall also underlined his talent in the first part of the season is. At just 23 years of age he has shown his potential at the cobbled races where he was playing an important role. "I’m really happy to be riding for an African team. It means a lot to me as we do not only help to raise the bar for African cycling but also help to put people on bikes through Qhubeka. I’m very much looking forward to further develop as a classics rider as these are the races that I really enjoy“, says Dougall, who’s currently racing his first Grand Tour at La Vuelta. Another rider who is racing in Spain at the moment is 22-year old Merhawi Kudus. The young Eritrean has already shown glimpses of his talent during the first week of La Vuelta. It is the fourth Grand Tour of his young career, that has seen finishing all three of them in the last three years. „I would like to win a stage at a Grand Tour in the future. I feel that these are the races that suit me well and it’s great to be able to develop myself as rider in an African team. This team is rewriting the history for African cycling and it’s great to a part of it“, so Kudus. Natnael Berhane is another Eritrean who can take things to a whole new level for African cycling in the next seasons. The former Eritrean champion was the first African to win a stage race in Europe in 2013, the Presidential Tour of Turkey, and has since steadily progressed in his development. He was a key support rider during this years mountain stages of the Tour de France, after riding actively in a couple of stage races prior to the Grand Boucle, where he was the designated team leader. We built this team to showcase and support the best talent on the African Continent and I am really happy to see the commitment, dedication and loyalty these riders have shown in their future development with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and also in the team’s purpose of mobilising people on bikes. The coming seasons will be breakthrough years for these riders so hold onto your seats big things are coming. Douglas Ryder – Team Principle Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka grew really fast over the last years to become one of the leading teams in the Peloton. The message this team sends out to the world is unique and so are the people on this team. We are happy to extend the agreements with Merhawi, Natnael, Reinardt and Nic to help them building on their carriers and have them on board to secure our future success. Rolf Aldag – Head of Performance
  4. The 19th stage of the Tour de France was only a 146km journey from Albertville to Mont Blanc but 4 categorised climbs would have to be dealt with on-route. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were hoping it would be another stage for the breakaway and so Natnael Berhane made sure he started on the front row. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) attacked from kilometer zero and Berhane was the first to respond. The peloton let the break go almost immediately, meaning Berhane was clear along with 19 other riders. As soon as the gap hit 4 minutes though, Astana came to the head of the peloton and ramped up the pace with still 120km to go. It was clear they were not going to let the breakaway riders have their day. The gap came down to around 2 minutes and stayed there for the majority of the day. When the big GC teams decide it is their stage for the taking, there is very little the breakaway group can do. Berhane, along with most of the rest of the breakaway riders were caught either on the penultimate climb of the stage or during the wet descent to the final climb. This last descent though put an end to more hopes than just the breakaway riders as numerous riders crashed on the tricky wet road down to the foot of Mont Blanc. Froome, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) were just some of the big names to come unstuck on the treacherous descent. Bardet's superior bike handling skills though saw the Frenchman take advantage of the dangerous descent to start the final 9km climb with a 45" lead on the yellow jersey group. Bardet was able to hold onto most of his lead to arrive at the finish first, after dispatching the final breakaway rider, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) with a little more than 2km to go. The main GC contenders followed a little more than 20 seconds later with the young South African, Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) probably having the ride of the day to finish 4th. Our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders all finished safely inside of the time limit, and ready to give tomorrow's final tough Alpine stage another go. The plan was to have someone in the breakaway and then hope that the main guys would not try to gain places in the general classification. Obviously with only two stages left, teams like Astana and others were keen on making it a very hard race. That is why the break never made it today. Natnael was in the break which was very good, and a good experience for him. We had some bad luck with Daniel Teklehaimanot crashing just before he made it back to the group. There was a lot of chaos in the final, with a lot of crashed on the last descent. It was the first time it had rained in a while so it was very slippery. We all got home safe which we are happy about and we look forward to doing something tomorrow again. Rolf Aldag - Head of Performance
  5. At 237km, stage 4 from Saumur to Limoges was the longest of this year's Tour de France. Once again it was a predominantly flat stage, with the main challenge being in the final 500m of the stage, where the road rose to the line at a 5% average gradient. After a few early kilometers where teams were looking to see who would make the first break, the attacks finally started after 20km. It took another 15km before 4 riders eventually slipped clear. Race leader, Sagan, sent his team up to control proceedings from the peloton and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were the first to lend them a helping hand as Natnael Berhane began assisting the Russian team with the chase. The gap was pretty much locked at around the 4-minute mark, and the peloton was confident that it would be able to bring the escapees back. As the race came into Limoges, and after Natnael Berhane had done a sterling job together with the Tinkoff and Etixx-Quickstep domestiques, the break was caught at 7km to go. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had all grouped around Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen for the finale, but a small hill at 6km to go disrupted the rhythm of the peloton somewhat. With 4km to go there was a precarious intersection that caused a bottle neck and from thereon it was a slightly disorganised sprint. With 500m to go, Boasson Hagen tried to move Cavendish up to the head of the peloton but the Norwegian was pushed into the barriers and no longer in contention from that point. Cavendish, slightly boxed in on the right side of the peloton, was never really able to find a clean bit of road to start sprinting. Kittel and Coquard went shoulder to shoulder with the German taking the win in the photo finish. Cavendish had to settle with 8th position on the stage. At the start we knew it was going to be another long, long day just like yesterday, probably even half an hour longer. Nobody wanted to attack, nobody wanted to ride in the beginning. Then in one moment there was an attack of 7 riders, we had Natnael there, with a total of 5 sprinter teams represented in the move so that mixed up everything. The next 15km was chock-o-block full gas. That changed the situation and 4 guys got away. It was a good rolling day, not too hard, it was a nice day. It was not a recovery day at all but the fatigue didn't get too much worse. It was a little breather before a big hard day tomorrow and as we can see, the sun is out so it's going to be interesting the next few days as it gets warmer and warmer. Bernhard Eisel - Rider
  6. The 3rd stage of the Dubai Tour would not go the way of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka with a late mechanical putting an end to our hopes today. Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) would triumph, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was 2nd- also pulling on the race leaders jersey, with Silvain Dillier (BMC) 3rd on the stage. Click here to view the article
  7. It would be a long haul toward the foot of the Hatta Dam, where there would be a showdown on the much talked about 18% grade climb. 6 riders tried their hand at a long breakaway but it certainly wasn't going to be their day with Team Sky keeping the gap around the minute mark all stage. With 10km to go the break were caught, and a few attacks then came from the peloton. Natnael Berhane, our Eritrean champion got involved and put a few meters between himself and the peloton in following a few dangerous moves. It was also at this point where disaster struck our African Team as Mark Cavendish suffered from a mechanical which would put an end to his stage and GC hopes. With Movistar setting a really high tempo on the way to Hatta Dam, all the late attackers were caught and there was also no way Cav would make it back to the front group as the race had split into pieces over the closing kilometers. Going into the final kilometer, when the road ramped skyward, it was Lobato who timed his effort best to take the win. Natu was our top placed rider on the day, coming home 37 seconds down on Lobato in 28th place. It wasn’t the best stage for us today. We try to look after Cavendish but in the final he had a flat wheel at a bad time. I was trying to follow some moves in the small climbs and used some energy. When I came back to the group Cav was not there so I had to try for the final as well but I had no more legs for the final climb. Tomorrow we will go full gas for the stage win with Cav. Natnael Berhane – Rider
  8. The 19th stage of the Vuelta a Espana saw the break of the day decide the stage win once again. Today it was Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) who tasted victory. Click here to view the article
  9. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Natnael Berhane in the 24 rider move that went clear inside the first 10km of the stage. With no breakaway riders of danger to any of the riders in the top 10 on GC, they were allowed to get as much as a 16 minute lead during today’s 185km stage. With it obvious that the break were going to survive, the escapees then started to look at each other as the race approached the cat 2 La Paramera climb, which topped out with 19km to go. The attacks came thick and fast and Natnael launched a move of his own on the lower slopes but a tailwind made it a fast paced climb and difficult to get any sort of a lead. Gougeard, who went just before the climb even started, would reap the rewards of throwing caution to the wind by arriving at the finish alone with 40 seconds to spare. The rest of the chasers followed in ones and twos with our Eritrean champion coming home in 13th place. Back in the peloton there wasn’t all that much action as Movistar tried to up the pace on the climb but it just wasn’t hard enough to make much of a difference. It was only on the short cobbled section coming into the finish that saw a few seconds gained here and there but nothing substantial. Louis Meintjes remains 10th on GC with just 2 stages to go. Today we had to be aware when the break went, making sure the 6 riders behind Louis weren’t trying to get away. Natnael did a good job to get into the big break that did go away. In the final it became quite tactical in the front and with only 1 rider there it was not easy to gain the upper hand. Louis lost a few seconds on the final cobbled climb but it was minimal so we can be happy with our stage. It’s just two stages to go now, 1 hard stage and the final in Madrid. Jean Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
  10. The final stage saw MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung keep its unique record of placing a rider in the break at every single stage of the 2015 Tour of Utah when Songezo Jim joined 11 riders off the front of the peloton today. The leaders were allowed to get just over a 3 minute lead before the chase from the peloton really started. There were 2 main climbs of the day, the cat 2 Wolf Creek Ranch climb and then the extremely tough HC climb up Empire pass. After Wolf Creek, Tanner Putt (United Healthcare) attacked the lead group and Songezo set off after him just before Empire pass. Once the rode tilted upward though, the favourites quickly began to reel the break back in. Songezo was the 3rd last rider to be caught but at that point the peloton was down to a favourites group of just 8 riders, Natnael as part of the selection. Songezo did a good job to ramp up the pace for Natnael for a while before our Eritrean champ and Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit) took over the pace making. Over the top of the climb the leading group had swelled to 11 riders and there was just the extremely fast 9km descent back in to town left to race. Bookwalter and Norris got a slight gap on the descent and this was enough to decide the stage. Natanel led the yellow jersey and other favourites across the line 20" later. Natnael picked up our 3rd most aggressive rider of the stage jersey award for his efforts today while also securing 7th position on the General Classification. It was good to have Songezo in the break, he did well once again. Natnael was good on the climb and set the pace for most of the big climb, showing he was one of the best. Looking back maybe he could have attacked on the climb but it was not possible for me to get up to him. There are a lot of positives to take from this week but the thing that was missing was a win and that was what we really wanted. We tried hard and the guys raced every day in the front but we also made a few mistakes, and in the moment some of those decisions cost us. The good thing is we can become better from these experiences. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  11. The final stage of the Tour of Utah saw Lachlan Norris (Drapac Cycling) out sprint Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) for the stage win with our Natnael Berhane coming across the line in 3rd place. Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) won the Tour of Utah overall. Click here to view the article
  12. The 6th stage of the Tour of Utah would be the races Queen stage as riders finished atop the Snowbird Ski Resort. Joe Dombrowski soloed to the win and into the race leader’s jersey while Natnael Berhane came home in 3rd place behind Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit). Click here to view the article
  13. The stage was not all about the final climb though as riders had to contend with 4 major climbs in total, including the Cat 1 up Guardsman Pass. It was this mountain that would start to shape the race as an original break of 12 riders, which included Johann van Zyl once again, started to crumble. Team Colombia would set the pace on the mountain and by the summit, only 2 riders remained out front by a single minute. The peloton was down to 25 riders as they hit the long descent to the foot of the HC Snowbird climb, Natnael was part of this favourites group. As Colombia brought the 2 leaders to within touching distance at the base of Snowbird, Dombrowski attacked to bridge to his teammate up front. After catching his breath on the wheel he then went again. Frank Schleck (Trek-Factory) and yellow jersey Woods tried to respond but they couldn't hang on to the young American. Natnael and Chris Horner (Airgas-Safeway) then left the rest of the peloton behind to join Schleck and Woods. Dombrowski was in a league of his own and opened up a 1'17" lead over the 4 chasers by the finish of the 13km climb. Woods won the sprint for 2nd and Natnael 3rd. The result saw Natnael move up to 5th on the GC, +1’26” behind Dombrowski who pulled on yellow before Woods in 2nd, Schleck 3rd and Horner 4th. It was mostly a good stage for us. Natnael was in contention on the climb, and this we could expect. He ended with a good 3rd place and could move up some places on the GC. Also we had Johann in the break again. It's nice to keep our record of 6 breakaways in 6 days. Johann was strong again but it was a pity Daniel was in the break as well, it was not possible to beat him in the mountain sprints so we couldn't get the jersey back. Unfortunately the bad news is Matt Brammeier had a crash and was taken to the hospital in the ambulance. We believe it is only a precautionary measure but we will get confirmation soon. Tomorrow is our last chance and we will try to bring Natnael to a good position again to see what is possible. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  14. The day started with 6 riders forming the main break of the day. Johann placed himself in this early move and with 4 categorised climbs on route, the young South African was in a prime position to go for the King of the Mountains jersey. United Healthcare kept the escapees on a short leash as they were a bit weary of "VanSnails" fire power. However, Johann was able to claim maximum points on the first cat 2 and cat 3 climbs of the day, this was already enough to secure the jersey. With the final 2 climbs coming in the last 25km, it would turn into an important GC day and so our African team then focused on ensuring Natnael Berhane was in the best position possible for these two climbs. Johann's break was caught on the penultimate climb, except for Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) who went solo. There was a huge push in the peloton and both Songezo Jim and Adrien Niyonshuti marked the attacks. Over the top Rosskopf had a 20" lead which he held all the way around until we started the climb for the final time. Again there were attacks from the peloton but Natnael was all over it. Nearing the top of the climb Natnael would attack and quickly got 15" over a select group of 13 riders. Unfortunately for Natnael the descent didn't start straight away and there was a general regrouping of the peloton on the false flat. This reduced peloton would catch Natnael with 4km to go and it was then down to a 48 rider bunch sprint. It would be a photo finish and our Eritrean national champion was right in the frame to take 6th, only half a bike length from the win! The victory went to Logan Owen (Axeon Cycling Team). It wasn't really the plan for me to go in the break today but there was a lull just before the sprint so I jumped across to the leaders with a BMC guy. It was then just about rolling through until the climbs. I had already picked up 9 points the other day in the KOM competition so it was a good opportunity to get the jersey. I managed to gain enough points so I'm pretty happy to have the jersey now. In the final, once I knew I had the jersey it was just about saving the legs for the next few days. Johann van Zyl - Rider It was another good stage for our team today. The other day in the bus we spoke about Johann taking the KOM jersey at some point because he scored some points, today he went and got it. He was excellent again but so were all the guys. They kept Natnael in a good position all day and brought him to a good spot before the final 2 important climbs. He was strong and could stay with the favourites, and even put in an attack. At the finish he took 6th place and this is a good result for us. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
  15. The 3rd stage of the Tour of Utah was yet again, a good one for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. Johann van Zyl pulled on the King of the Mountains jersey and Natnael Berhane sprinted to a fine 6th place at the finish. Click here to view the article
  16. For the second time this year, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will race on American soil as our African team start the UCI 2.HC Tour of Utah on Monday 3 August. Click here to view the article
  17. The Tour of Utah is a 7 stage event, finishing on the 9th of August but only after the 16 teams have completed the 1100km route. It will be the 2nd time MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung take part in the Tour of Utah after debuting in the race back in 2013. The route is well balanced with opportunities for the sprinters and punchers in the first 5 days thereafter the climbers will have the chance to decide the GC over the final 2 stages. It will be important for our MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team to race visibly as we represent our wheel partner, ENVE Composited in their home state. The event itself also serves a key event in our Vuelta a Espana preparation as the Utah high altitude will be beneficial to our riders that are hoping to participate in the Spanish grand tour later this month. We will line up with a strong team led by Natnael Berhane who comes off a 5th place finish at the recent Tour of Austria. Our stage victor from Austria, Johann van Zyl is also in Utah along with Jay Thomson, Songezo Jim, Adrien Niyonshuti, Youcef Reguigui, Matt Brammeier and Matt Goss. I am happy to be part of this race wearing my national jersey once again. I was in Austria a few weeks ago and now I am in America, it is great motivation for me to be showing the flag of Eritrea in these different countries. I have been training well for the Tour of Utah. Tour of Utah is also part of my build up for the Vuelta so I would like to finish high up on the GC here. It will be good for my morale ahead of the Vuelta if I can ride well here. The goal is to continue just as the team has done so over the last few weeks and months. We want to race at the front, we must be visible and we want to try and win a stage. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  18. The two category 1 climbs on route today created an attacking platform and the riders obliged with constant attacks all stage. An initial early break was caught after a number of attacks came from the peloton on the 1st big climb. Natnael Berhane was among the attackers and for a brief while, Natnael was part of a 6 rider group that had distanced the peloton. On the descent though, the entire race was brought back together. More attacks then followed just before the final big climb and this time 5 riders got a gap of around a minute. On the climb though, the weaker riders were dropped while the attacks kept coming from the peloton, which then saw some riders bridge to the lead group. Eventually, over the top 3 riders: Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin), Igor Silin (Katusha) and Linus Gerdemann (Cult-Energy) remained out front. 60 odd riders made up the peloton over the climb and they would have a 1'45" gap to chase down over the final 20km. The catch was made at 3km to go and the 60 rider bunch sprint followed. Natnael Berhane was the first MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rider across the line in 17th place. By finishing safely in the main group, Natnael would end the Tour of Austria in 5th place overall. Victor De la Parte (Vorarlberg) would win the tour overall. Tour of Austria was a good race, I was happy to ride in the Eritrean jersey. I came here with big ambitions and I finished 5th. It would have been better to be on the podium. We can be happy with the stage win of Johann but personally I wanted a bit more. I tried today to get back some time today but it was not possible. It is still my best result this year, I can improve from here. Natnael Berhane - Rider
  19. The final stage of the Tour of Austria ran its course today with Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin) winning the final bunch sprint. David Tanner (IAM Cycling) was 2nd and Clement Venturini (Cofidis) finished in 3rd. Click here to view the article
  20. There would be a fair sized group of 8 riders who escaped over the Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain, and they would be able to muscle out a maximum lead of 4 minutes. Team CCC Sprandi did most of the pace setting in defence of their race leaders jersey from the peloton. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung would come to the assistance of CCC Sprandi as the race approached the Kitzbuheler Horn with Jaco Venter doing some strong turns up front. The 8 leading riders would start the infamous 7.4km 'Horn' with just on a 2 minute lead but the 23% gradients would soon see the break implode. Once the peloton hit the climb it very quickly became every man for himself too. Of the favourites, De la Parte was first to put in a meaningful acceleration and he was followed by Hirt. All the early leaders were now reeled in by 4km to go. Hirt could not sustain the pace at the front though and De la Parte pushed on alone to take a good stage win. Our Eritrean champion, Natnael Berhane was riding strongly a little further down the road, eventually crossing the line 5th on the day. A result good enough to consolidate 4th place on the overall GC for our African team. It was a really hard start today. The first climb was really tough and very long, the bunch just exploded on the first mountain. Over the top the peloton was split in two main groups with another group of 8 up the road. Johann, Jaco, Youcef and Natnael were in the first peloton with our other guys in the 2nd group. CCC then controlled to the final and we brought Natnael into a good position for the final climb. We were hoping to move onto the podium of the GC today but we just missed it. There are still some stages left and we will definitely race for another stage win. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  21. The Queen stage of the Tour of Austria took riders over the Grossglockner before eventually finishing atop the famed Kitzbuheler Horn. Victor De la Parte (Vorarlberg) would be the rider to climb his way to the stage victory and also into the race leader’s jersey. Click here to view the article
  22. The 4th stage of the Tour of Austria would be the first stage for the General Classification riders. Victor De la Parte (Vorarlberg) would be the stage victor, Jan Hirt ( CCC Sprandi) was 2nd and Ben Hermans (BMC Racing) claimed 3rd place. Click here to view the article
  23. At 210km in length, it would be a long day out on the road even before the peloton hit the final 17km cat 1 climb up to Drobatsch. 3 riders escaped in the early part of the stage and with such a distance to cover before the final climb started, they were given just over 5 minutes by the peloton. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were riding in support of Natnael Berhane, our Eritrean champion today. Natnael was kept safe in the peloton by his African team as the peloton slowly clawed in the breakaway. By the time we hit the final 17km climb, the break was caught and Natnael was delivered to the front of the group. The early part of the climb wasn't too tough and so it took a bit of time for the peloton to be whittled down. Just after passing the 10km to go sign, a few accelerations saw the climbers come to the fore. A 6 rider group would go clear inside of 5km to go and Natnael was strong enough to make the selection. The real difference was made during the final 2km where De la Parte went clear with Hirt to win the stage. Hermans crossed the line alone 8 seconds later. Berhane would come in 21" after the stage victor, a result good enough to see our Eritrean move up to 3rd on GC just behind Hirt in yellow and Hermans in 2nd. Today was not bad at all. The stage went according to the plan we had. We looked after Natnael all stage and brought him to the final climb in a good position. At 5km to go there were only 18 riders left. CCC Sprandi started attacking and Natnael followed from the 2nd position. Then came the counter attacks. Natnael was very good and I was impressed with how he rode. He is now in the top placing’s of the GC with only a few seconds the difference. This is a good place to be so we are happy with our performance today. JP Heynderickx - Sport Director
  24. In what would be a hotly contested race with a field of around 150 starters. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung lined up with Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus all eager to make a challenge for the coveted national jersey. Riders would take on 196km around Asmara and there would be an early attack of 4 riders, including Natnael, Meron Teshome, Metkel Eyob (WCCA MTN-Qhubeka) and one other local rider. The quartet went clear inside the first 15km of racing and few would have given them much hope of staying clear of the strong field. Natnael had other ideas though. With Merhawi and Daniel marking the countless attacks coming from the field, Natnael was able to drive the lead out to a maximum advantage of 4 minutes. The attacks did not stop though and with 50 kilometers to go 7 riders, including Merhawi and Daniel would bridge to the 4 leaders. Almost immediately Natnael attacked the new lead group and he would not be seen again. A number of counter attacks came from the chasers but with Daniel and Merhawi marking each move, Natnael was able to open his gap to just over a minute and then held his advantage to the line in what would be a sterling performance. Massive credit must also go to Daniel and Merhawi for being the perfect teammates today. Tesfom Okubamariam (WCCA MTN-Qhubeka) would finish 2nd and local rider Amanuel Gebreigzabhier claimed 3rd place. It was a very good performance from the guys today. It was a flat race so we had to make the racing really tough. Berhane was already in the break by 20km and he made it to the end. Everybody was looking at us today but with good team work and a good strategy we were able to win the jersey. I was really impressed with the number of crazy Eritrean cycling fans here in Eritrea, it was great to see. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  25. Natnael Berhane put in a magnificent performance to win the Eritrean national road race championships this morning. Click here to view the article
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