Patience the key to Teklehaimanot turning professional with GreenEdge
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patience the key to Teklehaimanot turning professional with GreenEdge

by Xylon van Eyck at 8:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Eritrean chose Australian team over five other teams who were after him

Daniel TeklehaymanotAlthough he’s yet to be officially announced by GreenEdge, it’s been widely reported that the Australian squad has signed the promising African rider Daniel Teklehaimanot. This has been confirmed by UCI African Continental Centre director Jean-Pierre van Zyl, who spoke to VeloNation this week about the rider and the deal.

The 22 year old has been earmarked as a future talent and has had a very gradual development program the past few seasons, dividing his time between the UCI World Centre in Europe and its African Continental Centre in South Africa.

For the most part, Teklehaimanot has been under the guidance of Jean-Pierre van Zyl, the director of the African centre and a former track specialist. He spoke to VeloNation this week about the signing. “With Daniel as with all the riders [at the African Continental Centre] for that matter, you need to educate them on European peloton racing and let them settle and get into it. It’s very different to South African and African racing.

“We took the approach where Daniel is only 22 years old so we waited for him to turn professional and let him race some amateur races and some professional races.”

Van Zyl describes Teklehaimanot as a good tour rider who is strong in the time trial and is a good one day rider. He is the current African Continental road race and time trial champion after winning both events last November.

He will now graduate to the big leagues, when the new Australian GreenEdge team makes its debut on the road during the 2012 season, providing it is successful in its application for a UCI ProTeam license.

“He had five offers. Four from Pro Tour and Pro Continental and one Continental,” commented van Zyl about why they chose the Australian team.

“Some of the offers were from French teams and his French is not so good. [With GreenEdge] he will be based very close to the UCI World Centre where he is used to being based and he is more suited to that climate. We were looking for the opportunity for him to mature. We really respect Shayne Bannan’s approach to development and the GreenEdge structure.”

The Australian team has so far made six signings public with Teklehaimanot being joined by Stuart O'Grady, Pieter Weening, Jack Bobridge and brothers Cameron and Travis Meyer.

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