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Cyclist Natnael Berhane: A Rising Star
The triumph of Eritrea’s Natnael Berhane at the just ended Algerian cycling tour will be one to remember for the 21-year old cyclist. Pundits are already seeing a bright future and an exceptional future for the young athlete.
The triumph of Erythrea’s Natnael Berhane at the just ended Algerian cycling tour will be one to remember for the 21-year old cyclist. Pundits are already seeing a bright future and an exceptional future for the young athlete.
The 18-year old who rose to high level cycling at just 18, is from the North region of Eritrea. He took a different step in his career in 2011; a year of success and audacity. He was exceptional at the Rwanda tour finishing second after some brilliant performances on the way, the he later failed in the final battle for the yellow jersey at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. A high level tournament that sees the participation of professional European teams, some that are regular participants at the Tour de France, the Giro or La Vuelta. During the last lap in Libreville, which he won, he was praised by his opponent of the day, Frenchman Jérôme Pineau from Quick Step: “There is no reason to be ashamed of losing in front of a cyclist like him; he ran well, he was the strongest of the peloton.” The French athlete did not only congratulate him but also acknowledged to have learned a lot from Champions like the Eritreans: “Either we do like the Africans by coming here and taking the risk to be beaten or we remain at home,” the athlete from Nantes responded to those who are surprise of the Libreville result, I chose to come here and I stand by it. I am even happy that the Eritrean defeated me, it is a good sign.” Berhane went ahead to participate in the first edition of the Algerian cycling tour. He was one of the brilliant cyclists there even though he ended up third in the final classification. His potential, his early know-how, his ambition, his determination at work helped him open the doors of the International Cycling Centre. An institution created by the International Cycling Federation, UCI to train and help young athletes participate in international races, particularly in Europe. Motivated by this affection from the cycling world, the Eritrean achieved a remarkable second half of the season in fine form, notably winning the African Championship title both individual as well as team titles in Asmara, Ethiopia. At the Tour de l’Avenir, a European race reserved mainly for youths, Behrane finished 25th. An honourable position for his first outing out of the continent. In order to win the Algerian cycling tour ahead of strong opposition from teams like France, Greece, Latvia, Morocco and Algeria, he put together several resources.
A strong climber, he equally knows how to ride and chase breakaway opponents when necessary. This is the case during the last stage in Oran when he crossed the finish line as first. As an accessible and modest champion, he first of all dedicated his win to his trainer who has been with him for four years: “He always believed in me,” Behrane said emotionally as he put on the yellow jersey in the Western-Algerian headquarter, “as I believed in myself. He told me last year, I hope you will win the Algerian cycling tour, you are capable. If you win, you will be the most complete athlete of your generation.” Behrane is already one at the Eritrean and African level and it is now left for him to conquer Europe and the rest of the world. Certainly in three or four years.
Born on 5 January 1991
2nd at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in 2011 behind his compatriot Daniel Treklehaimanot
3rd at the Tour d’Algérie in 2011
2nd at the Tour du Rwanda 2011
African Champion in 2011
Champion Champion team in 2011
25th at the Tiour de l’Avenir 2011
1st at the Tour de l’Erythrée
State of Eritrea ሃገረ ኤርትራ Hagere Ertra دولة إرتريا
Anthem: Ertra, Ertra, Ertra Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea
Capital (and largest city) Asmara
15°20′N 38°55′E / 15.333°N 38.917°E / 15.333; 38.917
Official language(s) Tigrinya, Arabic, English Other languages Tigre, Saho, Bilen, Afar, Kunama, Nara, Hedareb,.
Ethnic groups 60% Tigrinya, 30% Tigre, 4% Afar, 3% Saho, 3% Kunama
Demonym Eritrean Government Provisional government
- President Isaias Afewerki
- From Italy November 1941
- From United Kingdom under UN Mandate 1951
- from Ethiopia de facto 24 May 1991
- From Ethiopia de jure 24 May 1993
- Total 117,600 km2 (100th)
45,405 sq mi - Water (%) 0.14%
- 2009 estimate 5,224,000 (109th)
- 2008 census 5,291,370
- Density 43.1/km2 (165th)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
- Total $3.625 billion
- Per capita $681
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
- Total $2.117 billion
- Per capita $397
HDI (2007) steady 0.472 (low) (165th)
Currency Nakfa (ERN)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
- Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code ER
Internet TLD .er
Calling code 291
1 ,. National TV: Eritrea Television (ERI-TV)
Eritrea (play /ˌɛrɨˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrɨˈtriːə/; Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā, Arabic: إرتريا Iritrīyā), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeast and east of the country has an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Eritrea's size is approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi) with an estimated population of 6 million...