Tour of Yorkshire #1: Merhawi Kudus overcomes Visa issues to perform well at opening stage

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Merhawi Kudus was MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s main man at todays opening stage of the Tour of Yorkshire. The 21 year old Eritrean only received his Visa in time to make the trip to Great Britain. He arrived just minutes before the flag dropped in Bridlington. He would move on to finish 13th, being the team’s best place rider on the day.

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rode strong all day. From the beginning on the stripes were to be seen at the front of the peloton. The team’s fighting spirit would see Steve Cummings and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg playing an important role in one of the the days breaks. Both were right on the top action when the race reached the Cote de Robin Hood’s Bay 28 km before the finish line in Scarborough.

The climb proofed to be the deciding one for the stage. With a gradient of 25 percent it allowed 5 riders to go clear. Lars Petter Northaug (Sky) would then move on to win the stage from Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) to also take over the race lead.

Steve and Merhawi just missed out on the move but refused to give up. Together they kept the chase within distance to the late break, an effort that would see both finishing in the top15.

Merhawi Kudus – Rider

It was a bit stressful to get to the start line today. After only receiving my Visa for Britain yesterday, I arrived this morning. I had breakfast at a coffee shop on the airport and pinned on my race number just minutes before the start. It was really hectic, so I am actually quite happy with how my race went.

Jens Zemke – Sports Director

The team did really well today, even though the result might not really show that. We rode very active in the final 50 kilometers and were in the middle of the action with Steve, Reinardt and Merhawi until the late break got away. It was good to see that the boys didn’t give up and tried to chase that group down.

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