Meron Teshome of Stradalli – Bike Aid
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 11:24:09 AM America/New_York
Meron Teshome of Stradalli – Bike Aid German team may only be 23 years old but he is already gaining attention around the European Cycling community. Trying to give sprinters from Eritrea a great reputation, Teshome is also trying to become a great representative for the rise in African cycling.
During an interview with Teshome, we were able to get to see how impactful the Stradalli – Bike Aid efforts truly are in the lives of many young African cyclists.
When you grow up in Eritrea you grow up a fan of road cycling. It’s just the way it is back home. It doesn’t matter if you race or not, over half the population of Asmara uses bikes to commute. My uncle and great uncle were also cyclists and they influenced me to do it. I grew up wanting to be just like Tom Boonen, cycling is in my blood and it is a passion I have had my entire life.
Comparing African Cycling To European
Some people don’t realize how much of a challenge it is to reach the top in Africa as compared to Europe. There are fewer opportunities in Africa, for example in Eritrea cyclists like Daniel Teklehaimanot or Nathanael Berhane will get more looks because they are very talented climbers. Daniel is already proving to the world the level of talent there is with Eritrean climbers but that doesn’t help me to move forward to where I want to go. Cycling is so big in Europe but I think Africa is finally catching up. The fan base is great and we have a great group of highly talented cyclists coming up and winning in Europe.
Despite such a young career, Teshome has picked up victories in the Tour of Rwanda, the Tour of Eritrea, the Eritrean National Championships, the African Games ITT in 2015 and the African Continental Championships TTT in 2013.
It’s not that I look at one win to be more important than another. They are all important to me. However, one that I will always cherish is the stage I won in the Tour of Rwanda, as Rwanda is a full of mountain country. That and the African Games ITT win was also special to me because I worked so hard to improve my TT skills. When I was with the MTN team in South Africa I learned a lot about being a professional racer. This is a sport centered around family because your team is your family but also because it really does take the support of your family back home to help you become the best possible cyclist.
Being a part of the Stradalli – Bike Aid family is very special for me. This has been a tough season to start, especially the Mallorca Challenge. However, when I look back to how far I’ve come in such a short period of time, I am now racing with a great team in some of big races and I get to race on the beautiful Aversa road bike from Stradalli, I know I’m very lucky to have these opportunities and I hope to make the most of them.