First European victory for Teklehaimanot in Prueba Villafranca Ordiziako Klasika
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

First European victory for Teklehaimanot in Prueba Villafranca Ordiziako Klasika

by Shane Stokes at 1:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Important success for promising Eritrean rider

Daniel TeklehaimanotHis talent has long been recognised, his potential long been seen, but Daniel Teklehaimanot made an important breakthrough today when he notched up his first professional victory in a European race.

The 24 year old Eritrean attacked eight others close to the finish of the Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika race in the Basque Country, and hit the line two seconds ahead of his closest chaser.

Previously a winner of events in Africa such as the continental championships, the Tour of Rwanda and the Eritrean championships plus a sixth-place finisher in the 2009 Tour de l’Avenir, the Orica GreenEdge rider has been tipped for a big career for several years.

Notching up the first European success is likely to help him gather momentum and to lead on to more victories.

“I’m really happy,” said Teklehaimanot after the race. “I’m so happy to get this victory for the team. Everybody worked really hard. We did a lot of work in the peloton and we always had a rider in the break. It was with the team that I get this win.

“I did my attack at 2.5 kilometres [from the line],” said Teklehaimanot. “I opened up about ten seconds and I continued like that to the finish.”

Early on, eighteen riders got clear and built a solid lead. This was gradually whittled down to three riders, including Teklehaimanot’s team-mate Jens Keukeleire, but they were caught twenty kilometres out.

Soon afterwards, Haritz Orbe (Euskaltel Euskadi) and Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) clipped away but they were subsequently reeled in by the Orica GreenEdge team. Angel Madrazo (Movistar) then sparked off the decisive break, dragging a group clear. Teklehaimanot and Wesley Sulzberger were both present played their cards perfectly to win the race.

Directeur sportif Neil Stephens said he thought the team had a chance today. “This is a hard race. There’s a lot of climbing and it’s always raced aggressively. On the start, I knew we had a few different options, but I wasn’t sure how the race would pan out,” he stated.

“I also wasn’t sure about anybody’s form. I knew they had all done their best in training, but after such a long break from racing, I wasn’t sure how they’d come off today. We had Jens in the early break. Cannondale tried to control. We were happy to have Jens out there, but we also knew we had options in the finish.”

The team had a strong Tour de France with a sprint win by Simon Gerrans, victory in the team time trial and stints in the yellow jersey for Gerrans and Daryl Impey. The mood was boosted by that and while Teklehaimanot didn’t race in France, he has picked up on the improved morale in the squad and helped add to his success.

“Daniel and Wes were in the front together,” said Stephens. “They played off each other. Eventually toward the finish, the boys talked amongst themselves. They worked the tactics out. Daniel hit them first. The rest of the group had to chase him down. Wes was ready to take care of the small group sprint if it came back together.

“This race is generally won by a rider coming off the Tour de France or a hard man with a punch.We had a few Tour riders on the start line, but a hard man won today. It’s a big win for Daniel. I’m not surprised, but I’m certainly happy for him and the team.”

He finished two seconds clear of Ángel Madrazo (Movistar Team), with David Arroyo (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA), Sulzberger, Jesus Herrada (Movistar Team), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling), Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) all eight seconds back.

Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika:

1, Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica Greenedge) 166 kilometres in 3 hours 55 mins 18 secs
2, Ángel Madrazo (Movistar Team) at 2 secs
3, David Arroyo (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) at 8 secs
4, Wesley Sulzberger (Orica Greenedge)
5, Jesus Herrada (Movistar Team)
6, Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
7, Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
8, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
9, Marcos Garcia (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) at 15 secs
10, Egoitz García (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) at 53 secs
11, Florian Vachon (Bretagne - Seche Environnement)
12, Haritz Orbe (Euskadi)
13, Vladimir Gusev (Katusha)
14, Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA)
15, Sthefano Agostini (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
16, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA)
17, Jesus Del Pino (Burgos BH - Castilla y Leon)
18, Beñat Intxausti (Movistar Team)
19, Florian Guillou (Bretagne - Seche Environnement)
20, Iván Velasco (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) all same time


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