Henok Mulubrhan hails from the capital of Eritea, Asmara. It’s a city rich in cycling culture, so much so that streets get closed on weekends so everyone can enjoy cycling freely, when you come home from Europe or the Tour de France, you are celebrated like an Olympic gold medalist – a hero.
The response to Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus and how they celebrated after their first LeTour was inspirational and a glimpse of hope and possibilities to many young Eritrean riders, amongst them was Henok Mulubrhan who hopes to follow in their footsteps.
“Cycling is my passion, it feels like I was born for it. I really love cycling and I started when I was 9 years old – it’s my escape and my dream job,” says Mulubrhan.
“When I was 13 years old my father bought me my first racing bike, I got it from a shop in Eritrea. My family are always the ones who have given me motivation and support from the start and if I’d have to choose who to have by my side when I race then it would be my father.”
Team Qhubeka Nexthash still provides the most realistic path for talented young riders from Africa the opportunity to race in Europe through its under 23 development team based in Lucca, Italy. Mulubrhan’s dream is to ride on the WorldTour, to win a stages in a grand tour – to create history.
“First we have to continue to cultivate talent at a grassroots level in Africa to develop young riders from the start who learn how to ride and race a bike. There is a lot of talented riders in Africa but they need structure, encouragement, and an opportunity to help them come to Europe to race. My advice is that everyone has to sacrifice for their dream until they successful; never give up.”