By Alula Abraha
That’s it,…. the waiting since yesterday is now over and it’s official that Eritrean National cycling team has just swept the board at the tour International de Constantine in Algeria…..
Salim of Algeria and Mathias of Belgium might just have scrambled for a one-two in the stages but it is Eritrean riders who had the last laugh today…..
The yellow, the white, the Polka red Jerseys are all now won and worn by our Eri riders for the General, youth and Mountain’s classifications, respectively.
Gigna Amanuel, who had only come back after a terrible accident in the Tour of Rwanda only 4months ago, has bounced back quite beautifully. The tall lanky athlete is also remembered for conquering the tour Int’l de Blida in his debut in Algeria last year. It must be one hell of a heroic performance by Team-Eritrea to pull it off against all odd and holding off a fierce fight from the colony of Algerian riders and the rest…..
Cycling is not an individual sport except in the ITT. It’s a team sport and requires a chess-like team tactic and strategy. But again, even with that, don’t ask me how we did it with only 4 riders against a colony of 17 home riders in their own home and in front of their own home fans. It must be the usual never-die Eritrean grit. Pure and simple. The only jersey we didn’t win is the Team classification and how could we with only 4 riders after losing Meron Abraham last week and Mekseb Debesay yesterday. But again, even in the final Team classification, we are the best amongst the rest, finishing third behind two Algerian teams that were far numerous.
All credit to coach and legend Yonas Zekarias and his gritty riders…..