|Marco Polo Cycling Team 2012 - first Ethiopian Pro Team|
|Wednesday, 16 November 2011|
After ten years of focus on the potential of Chinese cycling, Marco Polo Cycling decided to take a new direction and will register it’s European based UCI Continental team in Ethiopia and will become the first Ethiopian professional cycling team.
The Marco Polo Cycling Team in Europe with sports director Gilbert de Weerdt and the Ethiopian (and Eritrean) cyclists.
Especially Northern Ethiopia is home to a great cycling culture – just like neighboring Eritrea. Marco Polo Cycling has been active for over 5 years already in Ethiopia, supporting the Ethiopian Cycling Federation with knowledge and equipment through the charity foundation Bike4All by Marco Polo Cycling.
Team owner Gudo Kramer: “Looking back, one could say that we have never reached the full potential of Chinese cycling. I prefer to focus on the brighter side: when we came to Chinese races first, we used to be the only European team. Years later, we managed to bring Fuyu Li to Discovery Channel and qualify China for the Olympic Road Race in Beijing. Asian cycling has become a very international cycling scene now – and it is our mission to help non-traditional cycling countries to develop. From that perspective, we have been successful.
The team’s program will be based on a full program of UCI and Pro races in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany. Stage races in Africa, Asia, Southern Europe and also incidental participations in Gran Fondo’s (Marco Polo’s Ethiopian Solomon Shiferaw won the GP Eddy Merckx on the Mur de Huy this year) will add variety and mountains to the program.
Solomon Shiferaw and Estifanos Gebresilassie from Ethiopia and Daniel Abraham from Eritrea from the Marco Polo Cycling Team at this years Tour of Qinghai Lake UCI category H.C. race in China. (photo: Remko Kramer)
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