The second stage of Tropical Amissa Bongo will go down in the annals of the race but also in the history of African cycling. While two Eritreans, Daniel Teklehaymanot in Lambaréné and Natnael Berhane in Libreville, had won the first stage in 2011, this time it is Meron Russom who wore the leader’s jersey in Ndjolé on Wednesday (25) afternoon.
By Peter Eric,
The Eritrean from Team MTN-Qhubeka, has achieved what no rider on the continent had already done. With premiums achieved on the finish line for his third place in the stage, Meron Russom is mounted on the top of the podium provisional.
It remains in effect even four steps to go and everything still to play. But this performance proves the great evolution of these African nations such as Eritrea, Ethiopia and Morocco who stood up today to seasoned pros of Team Europcar Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Charteau. These would certainly want to take already some lead overall enjoying the bumpy road to today’s stage. But with the Astana riders and Eritreans, they could not enjoy the least freedom.
Meron Russom, 25, is not a stranger on the African continent. After his 11 th place in 2011 on the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, he won the difficult Tour of Eritrea. A few weeks ago, he finished in 9 th place of the famous Tour of Morocco under the banner of Team MTN-Qhubeka based in South Africa since he joined this year.
His third place in the final sprint this afternoon had not frustrated, he knew that the bonuses would help to take this coveted yellow jersey. At his side, the Kazakh Nikita Umerbekov enjoying his stage win ahead of Thomas Voeckler. The rider of Team Astana Continental is also a promising youngster, he won the Fleche in 2011 Ardennes in Belgium. (Software Translation)
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