Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rider Linus Gerdemann got his return to the sport off to a good start in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo on Monday. Gerdemann finished the opening stage of the African race in fourth place.
The German was part of a select group of 21 riders who broke away in the first hour and stayed away until the finish. Adrien Niyonshuti also represented the team in the escape group.
The first stage was won by Luis Leon Sanchez of Spanish Pro Continental team Caja Rural. The stage took place over 149 kilometres from Bitam to Ebolowa which is in neighboring Cameroon. Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis) was the second rider home while Natnael Berhane (Europcar) was the first African athlete to finish in third.