La Vuelta: Daniel Teklehaimanot finishes 31st place, faces tough competition
August 31, 2014 (Valdelinares, Spain) – Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) delivered a great performance during the 9th stage of the La Vuelta a Espana finishing 31st place competing against the world’s top cyclists in Spain.
The MTN-Qhubeka rider was from the beginning in a lead group of 31 cyclists who broke away from the main field shortly after race start.
Columbia’s Anacona Gomez won the race in 4:34:14, followed by Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan) and Damiano Cunego (Italy). During the final kilometers of the stage Anacona, Lusenko and Damiano were chased by a group of 27 riders including Daniel Teklehaimanot.
The Eritrean fought hard and kept his pace up to km 1.2 before the finishing line when he was overtaken by several riders from the chasing group.
The 9th stage was also a good day for Eritrea’s cyclists with Teklehaimanot finishing 31st place, ahead of fellow country men Natnael Berhane (Team Europcar) 80th place and Merhawi Kudus 150th place, out of a total of 194 international athletes taking part on Sunday.
“Yeah today i made the big break with Jay which was good. Jay really helped me a lot in the break while i tried to save my legs. We made to the final climb in front still and then i tried to follow the front guys to maybe get a top 10 result. It was very difficult though in the rain and the other riders were very strong. I am happy with my ride today.”, Daniel Teklehaimanot said.
For Africa’s first participating team, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, it was a successful day after placing 2 riders in the stages big break. Both Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jay Thomson had the awareness and strength early on in the stage to go clear. Thomson and Teklehaimanot would hold fast and make it to the foot of the final 10km cat 1 climb with the front runners.
The 9th stage of the la Vuealta a Espana was a mountainous track with the first part of the route simple and without great difficulty for riders. The hard part began once cyclist reached terrain with steep climbs as rain poured down and weather conditions worsened working against riders used to sunny weather conditions.
Today’s route was classified to be a 3rd category climb as well as a 2nd category with a challenging climb to Valdelinares in the province of Tereul, Argon, Spain.