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"I believe it's big thing for Ethiopian cycling. Every cyclist from Ethiopia will now start cycling thinking it's possible to achieve big goals and maybe also participating in the Tour de France."

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22.06.2016 @ 13:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

LAMPRE-MERIDA will write a page of the history of the Tour de France thanks to Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay who'll be the first Ethiopian rider to participate in the Grande Boucle.

Born in Mekele, an Ethiopian city at 2000 meters of altitude, covering kilometers after kilometers on his bikes, Grmay set new limits for cycling.

 

LAMPRE-MERIDA's Ethiopian rider is a pure climber and skills were confirmed by the participation in the 2015 Giro d'Italia and 2015 Vuelta a Espana (both races completed) and by the performances in the mountains at the recent Criterium du Dauphiné where he obtained the 2nd place in the mountains classification.

"The participation in the Tour de France is my long-time dream. Thanks to God I am now going to do it," he said.

 

"The first time I saw the Tour de France was in 2007, when Alberto Contador won the Tour. I was so excited to see such cycling champions battling on the great climbs.

"It was very long way coming from Ethiopia to race the Tour de France. A few years ago, when you were thinking about coming from Ethiopia and participating in the Tour de France, it was something impossible for me and for all Ethiopian people. But now this thing is going to change... I am going to show that it is possible and I am really really happy and proud.
 

"In chronological order, I thank the persons who supported me in my career: Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (JP), who found me in Ethiopia and gave me a lot of opportunities and taught me a lot of things which were important for becoming a cyclist.


"The World Cycling Centre from the UCI and then Team MTN QHUBEKA and Douglas Ryder and also my agent Robbie Hunter and my trainer Michele Bartoli, who were great cycling champions and are now helping me a lot.

 

"It’s also very important for me to thank my team, Lampre-Merida, and the team’s sponsors for giving me this opportunity and for all things the team have done for me during the last two years, with a special thanks to [manager] Brent Copeland, who believes in my talent and he gives me a chance to be a good rider and to change my life too.
 

"I believe it's big thing for Ethiopian cycling. Every cyclist from Ethiopia will now start cycling thinking it's possible to achieve big goals and maybe also participating in the Tour de France.


"This means that they’ll ride with one of the biggest powers inside them for achieving their goals, big or small doesn’t matter, it’s important that they’ll do their best and enjoy cycling. I am so happy and lucky to inspire the new generations in this way.

 

"All Ethiopian people have been watching the Tour de France for many years. Now all of my family and all Ethiopian people who loves cycling will be watching the race on tv. I am so excited to show myself out there!

"In this Tour de France, I will fight from all my heart and I really want to make a good result for myself and for my team. So I will see what I will be able do in this Tour and at the end of the Tour I will be grateful with what I have got."

In the LAMPRE-MERIDA line-up for the Tour de France there will be 7 nations represented.

 

"Personally I don't believe in different nations," Grmay said. "I believe in every single rider’s heart. Our group can count on really strong riders with good hearts. I am sure this team will race a good Tour de France.
 

 

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