President Jacob Zuma has congratulated South Africa’s nine -man MTN-Qhubeka Cycling Team –that include Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus, the first African professional cycling team to participate in the Tour de France’s 112-year history.
“We celebrate MTN-Qhubeka Cycling’s victory on international Nelson Mandela Day, when it won stage 14th of the Tour de France. I am also pleased MTN-Qhubeka’s Cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot of the sister State of Eritrea won the King of the Mountain’s jersey, the first African to wear the tour’s polka – dot jersey ‘’said President Zuma.
By all accounts, as a newcomer to the Tour de France the MTN-Qhubeka Team has excelled by showcasing African talent and is now ranked fifth in the overall standing. It is reported further that the MTN- Qhubeka on stage 17 of the Tour de France was ranked the best team on the stage.
President Isaias Afwerki has received the Eritrean cyclists participating in Tour de France on the 25th of June during which he gave them racing bicycles and other gifts in recognition of their outstanding achievements.
Meanwhile, according to the Sports and Culture Commission, preparation is underway for a heroes’ welcome to these triumphant riders who have created a sense of pride for Eritreans in particular and the whole of Africa in general.