Tropicale Amissa Bongo confirms 15 teams for 2013 race
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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tropicale Amissa Bongo confirms 15 teams for 2013 race

by Ben Atkins at 12:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Six professional teams face nine African nations in Gabon’s January event

anthony charteauOrganisers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo have confirmed that 15 teams have been invited to the 2013 edition, which will run between January 14th to 20th, in the country of Gabon on the west coast of Central Africa. The list includes six professional trade teams, which will go up against nine national teams from African countries.

Already confirmed in the race are ProTeams Lampre-Merida and Lotto-Belisol [the latter has yet to have its WorldTour status renewed for 2013, but is expected to have this confirmed next week - ed], as well as Professional Continental teams Europcar and Cofidis.

Europcar (and its previous incarnation Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has provided the winner for the last three seasons, in the form of Anthony Charteau (pictured), and the 33-year-old will return again this year aiming at a fourth straight victory. He will be supported by a strong team, which will include Tour de France hero Pierre Rolland and former French time trial champion Christophe Kern.

Cofidis returns to the race after a two-year absence; reportedly with great ambition, although the red and white team has yet to confirm which riders it is to send.

In addition to the four European teams, MTN-Qhubeka will make its debut as a Professional Continental outfit in the race. The South African team will be led by Eritrean Meron Russom, who finished second last year - just eight seconds behind Charteau - having worn the leader’s jersey for two days, along with Ethiopian Tsagbu Grmay, who finished eleventh.

The final trade team will be Algerian Continental squad Groupement Sportif Oil, which was one of the most aggressive teams in the 2012 race, with Azzadine Lagab finishing ninth.

Aside from the six trade teams, there will be National squads from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco and Rwanda, with many African riders keen to prove themselves against the European opposition.

Teams confirmed for 2013 Tropicale Amissa Bongo

Trade Teams
Europcar (France), Cofidis (France), Lampre-Merida (Italy), Lotto-Belisol (Belgium), MTN-Qhubeka (South Africa) and Groupement Sportif Oil (Algeria).

National Teams
Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco and Rwanda.

Confirmed rosters:

Europcar
Pierre Rolland, Anthony Charteau, Christophe Kern, Natnael Berhane, Yohan Gène, Morgan Lamoisson.

MTN-Qhubeka
Jim Songezo, Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, Jani Tewelde, Meron Russom, Louis Meintjes, Tsagbu Grmay.

Kenya
Samwel Mwangi, John Njoroge Muya, Suleiman Kangangi, Samwel Ekiru, Paul Agorir, Benjamin Kipchumba.

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