Eritrea at the start of the 2019 edition
The Tour de l’Espoir (Cameroon), the first round of the UCI U23 Nations Cup, took place from 4th to 9th February and Eritrea emerged as the overall winner.
Dominating from the start in Douala, Eritrea finished the first round with 3 out of 5 stage victories (Team Time Trial, Debesay on the 3rd stage and Mebrahtom on the 4th) as well as the overall ranking with Yayob Debesay (1st), Natnael Mebrahtom (2nd) & Natnael Tesfastion Ocbit (5th).
19 delegations were initially, mainly from nations where cycling is in the development phase: Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Japan, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Portugal, Rwanda, Tunisia and a mixed team.
Debesay’s Eritrea succeeds Areruya from Rwanda and, as the first team, will be invited to the 56th edition of the Tour de l’Avenir, which will be an opportunity for them to express themselves on the international stage. Yakob Debesay hopes to follow in the footsteps of his brother Mekseb, a professional at Dimension Data in 2018, or his compatriots Daniel Teklehaimanot and Natnael Berhane. His teammates will also have to be watched…