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First African to ever wear the Polka Dot Jersey… We love it!


How cool is this bit of artwork from @sylvrstar… First African to ever wear the Polka Dot Jersey… We love it!Team MTN Qhubeka |                                                                                                                                                                   mtn3

LE HAVRE, France (CT) – There’s a real sense of excitement around the MTN-Qhubeka team at the 2015 Tour de France. The Pro Continental outfit is the first African-registered trade team to race the Tour and, in its first outing in the race, MTN-Qhubeka is doing far more than simply making up the numbers.

On today’s sixth stage into Le Havre, one of the team’s two Eritreans, Daniel Teklehaimanot, got himself in the day’s breakaway with the express goal of landing the polka-dot jersey of the mountains classification leader. He managed exactly that, taking maximum points on the stage’s three, fourth-category climbs and overtaking stage 3 winner Joaquim Rodriguez in the KOM classification as a result.

In doing so, Teklehaimanot becomes the first African to wear the KOM jersey in the Tour de France and the first black African to wear a Tour de France classification jersey of any kind. In all, just three Africans have worn a leader’s jersey at the Tour de France: Robbie Hunter with the white jersey in 2001 and Daryl Impey with the yellow jersey in 2013.

“I’m really happy about what happened today. I can’t believe it,” Teklehaimanot said after the stage. “It is a big step for African cycling and I feel really proud at the moment because I have this jersey. That was my childhood dream to get the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France.”

“I followed exactly the team’s plan we had this morning; I made it in a group of three riders. After I scored two points, I was nervous that I wouldn’t take one more, otherwise I would be left with nothing.”