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“I haven’t taken in part in a race as prestigious as this yet, but I can’t wait because there will be climbs and leading riders such as Alberto Contador and Chris Froome.”

Photo: Tour of Turkey/Hakan Seker

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29.05.2013 @ 19:04 Posted by Lukas Knöfler

Last year, Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first black African on a WorldTour team, racing for Orica-GreenEdge. Now, his compatriot Natnael Berhane is set to make his debut in a WorldTour race, the Critérium du Dauphiné starting Sunday the 2nd of June.

 

Berhane has shown his climbing talent already by winning a mountain stage in the Tour of Turkey and finishing second overall to Mustafa Sayar. Now, he is ready to step up to the WorldTour stage.

 

“Since that win, I haven’t raced but I’m ready for the Dauphiné,” he said to VeloNews at Saturday’s GP Plumelec. “For me, the Dauphiné is going to be a brand new experience. I haven’t taken in part in a race as prestigious as this yet, but I can’t wait because there will be climbs and leading riders such as Alberto Contador and Chris Froome.”

 

“I’m also lucky to be able to race with stars like Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland,” he added. “I’m doing all I can to become a rider like them. Europcar is a major team. Beforehand, I watched them on television and it’s very moving to think that now people in Africa can also watch me live on TV. They saw me win in Turkey and I received lots of messages of congratulations afterwards.”

 

At the Critérium du Dauphiné, Berhane will be targeting the white jersey awarded to the best rider younger than 25 years. The Europcar line-up is completed by Anthony Charteau, Cyril Gautier, Davide Malacarne, Kevin Reza, Pierre Rolland, David Veilleux and Thomas Voeckler.

 

 

Team Europcar squad for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Natnael Berhane (ERI), Anthony Charteau (FRA), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Davide Malacarne (ITA), Kevin Reza (FRA), Pierre Rolland (FRA), David Veilleux (CAN) and Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

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