Eritrea comes top on first day of African Championship followed by South Africa and Ethiopia – 6 riders from MTN-Qhubeka
The first day of racing at the African Continental Championships saw the elite men tackle the team time trial discipline in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had 6 riders competing during the day and we are proud to have had all 6 riders earn medals for their respective nations.
Both Eritrea and South Africa had 3 MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders each in their 4 man teams. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus and Natnael Berhane were all representing the East African nation. Jay Thomson, Louis Meintjes and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg were flying the colours for the host nation.
Eritrea came out on top in the 48km race against the clock. They stopped the clock just 3 seconds ahead of the South African team. In third position, Ethiopia came home just 1’12” down on the gold medal winners.
Merhawi Kudus – Rider
“We are very happy to have won the gold medal once again. We have a lot of strong riders in Eritrea now and so there is always a bit of pressure when you represent your nation. When we win this medal, it is not just the 4 riders who win but all the riders of Eritrea so we are very happy today.”
Team MTN-Qhubeka was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for the Qhubeka charity.
Qhubeka is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes people’s lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there.
MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.