Voice of Sport

Eritrea dominates in African cycling event prior to hosting major races in Massawa, Asmara

Eritrean cycling races are popular with East African teams including from Kenya and Rwanda who are expected to take part this year

ERITREA continued its dominance of cycling competition in Africa when its team won the sixth straight title in the African Championship Team Time Trial staged in Morocco on Monday.

Even without Meron Teshome, the men’s individual time trial winner of the Gold medal in the 2015 All Africa Games in Brazzaville last September, the four-man Eritrea team was superb beating off challenge from second-placed Algeria, almost a full minute behind [58 seconds] and Morocco.

Great moment

The defending champions’ Team Dimension Data had new signing Mekseb Debesay inspiring the trio of Tesfom Okubamariam, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Elyas Afewerki as they covered the 59km distance in Benslimane in 1:15:07.53, 58.18 seconds ahead of second-placed Algeria.

Debesay said, “This is a great moment for our country because it is not easy to win six years in a row. We are very pleased with our performance.”

East Africans

Morocco finished third 1:02.38 behind the winners while Ethiopia and Rwanda settled for fourth and fifth respectively 1:26.02 and 2:29.99 in that order in the event that attracted 11 participating countries.

Apart from participating in other races in Africa this month and the coming one, the Eritreans are bracing for home races later on. They are some of the most high profile races in Africa. They begin with March 28 to April 17 Massawa Circuit centred round the Red Sea port City of Massawa. Riders will then move on to the national Tour of Eritrea on April 19 to 23. This will be concluded in the Eritrean capital with the Asmara Circuit on April 24.

Other East African teams that regularly patronize the Eritrean events are Kenya and Rwanda.

2016 Africa Continental Cycling Championship (59 km Team Time Trial in Morocco):

Men’s Elite TTT top 10:

1. Eritrea – (Mekseb Debesay,

Tesfom Okubamariam,

Elyas Afewerki,

Amanuel Ghebrezghabier) – 1:15:07.53
9.Burkina Faso1:22:41.32

Upcoming African events:

5-7 Mar Tour Internationale d’Oranie ALG Africa Tour

8 Mar Grand Prix de la Ville d’Oran ALG Africa Tour

10-12 Mar Tour International de Blida ALG Africa Tour

13-16 Mar Tour International de Setif ALG Africa Tour

17 Mar Criterium International de Setif ALG Africa Tour

19 Mar Classic Loire Atlantique FRA Europe Tour

19-22 Mar Tour Internationale d’Annaba ALG Africa Tour

23-25 Mar Tour International de Constantine ALG Africa Tour

26 Mar Circuit International de Constantine ALG Africa Tour

28 Mar 17 Apr Massawa Circuit ERI Africa Tour

28 Mar Criterium International de Blida ALG Africa Tour

1-10 Apr Tour du Maroc MAR Africa Tour

19-23 Apr Tour Eritrea ERI Africa Tour

23-30 Apr Tour du Sénégal SEN Africa Tour

24 Apr Asmara Circuit ERI Africa Tour

5 May Challenge du Prince – Trophée Princier MAR Africa Tour

7 May Challenge du Prince – Trophée de l’Anniversaire MAR Africa Tour

8 May Challenge du Prince – Trophée de la Maison Royale MAR Africa Tour

21-25 May Tour de Tunisie TUN Africa Tour

24-30 Sep Tour de Côte d’Ivoire-Tour de la Réconciliation CIV Africa Tour