Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka could not have had a better start to the national championships week of racing, with our African Team taking gold in all 4 of the respective national time trial championships our riders started in.
Kanstantsin Siutsou got the team off to a flying start by time trialing his way to his 4th Belarussian national time trial title on Thursday (23 June) morning. Siutsou completed the 40km course with an impressive average speed of 50km/h to beat Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi) by 16 seconds.
Edvald Boasson Hagen was our next rider to race for national honours, as he took part in the Norwegian time trial championships late on Thursday evening. Boasson Hagen, as the defending champion, was pushed all the way top the line this year by Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling). At the first intermediate time check Boasson Hagen was fastest by around 30″. At the 2nd time check the Norwegians traded places, with Boasson Hagen 7 seconds down and then at the 3rd time check, the riders were dead even with the same time. At the finish line though, Boasson Hagen prevailed to win his 8th national time trial title.
Daniel Teklehaimanot kept the momentum going on Friday morning when he defended his 2015 title and won the 2016 Eritrean national time trial title in Asmara. It was Teklehaimanot’s 3rd national time trial title but the race also went down to the wire as Meron Teshome (Stradalli – BikeAid) clocked a time just 38 seconds slower than Teklehaimanot. Merhawi Kudus secured the bronze medal for our African Team and as the best u23 rider, won the u23 title just as he did last year. Our young continental team rider, Amanuel Gebreigzahbhier, impressed with a 5th place overall and 2nd in the u23 category.
The Rwandan national time trial championships which were held in Nyamata on Saturday afternoon, was the last of the time trial events our African Team would participate in. Adrien Niyonshuti made sure it was 4 out of 4 for the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka camp, as he went on to win Gold. Although Niyonshuti had won the road race title twice before in previous years, the time trial title had eluded our Rwandan star until this year.
With the time trial titles now decided, attention now shifts to the road race events which will take place around the globe tomorrow. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will have riders starting in Eritrea, Rwanda, Norway, Belarus, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Italy.