|Ethiopian Alem Abebe 4th in Überherrn|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012|
Twenty-one year old Ethiopian cyclist Alem Grmay Abebe from Marco Polo Cycling - Donckers Koffie showed his promising talent with a strong 4th place in the hilly 112 km race in Überherrn, Germany this Sunday. The team, whose aim is to develop Ethiopian cycling talents to the highest pro level, is proud and happy with his great performance.
Alem Grmay Abebe from Marco Polo Cycling Donckers Koffie finishing 4th in Überherrn. (photo: Chris Bartlett)
Contested over 8 laps of a challenging 14 km circuit who’s centre piece was a tough 2.5 km climb, we had high hopes for our climbers and they didn’t disappoint. Out of the 100+ rider Pro / Elite Amateur peloton, Alem was part of the 11 strong front group. The winner, riding for the Trek-Leopard Continental team, was European U23 Champion Julian Kern. Kern caught and passed Eddy Merckx – Indeland rider Stefan Ganser on the final lap, Ganser having made a solo bid for victory shortly before he would hear the bell.
The action caused the lead group to splinter and Alem was left fighting for the final podium position with Phillipp Ries. On the day, Ries had the stronger finish up the final 500 m drag, beating Alem by a bike length.
This is one of the best placing at Pro level of an Ethiopian cyclist in Europe, adding to the excellent results of Estifanos and Solomon last year. Only a few weeks into his stay here, we look forwards impatiently to see what else he will achieve.
Marco Polo Cycling - Donckers Koffie were riding strong all day and had riders on the front and in most of the breaks. Initially, however, we missed what would become the race-winning move. Coming through the finish for the 4th time, the gap was 25 seconds. Our boys got to the front, and soon Chris Macic, Chris Bartlett and Ed Greene had what was left of the peloton lined out. Macic put in a huge 4 min effort and delivered Estifanos to the foot of the climb, dropping it a few gears Estif was out of the saddle and dragged 5 riders clear. Of them, only Alem was able to make the final jump to the front group. Estif and Ed continued to ride strongly and came in 14th and 22nd respectively.
"I trained this past week with my Ethiopian team mates in the Ardennes so I knew they would have the legs today. That is why I was happy to sacrifice my race and drill it to the bottom of the climb to get them back to the front. I am happy that at Alem made it to this strong front group, and pulled off a good finish!
The Ethiopians are again in action in either the Ronde van Overijssel or Omloop der Kempen this weekend.
Some of the riders from Marco Polo Cycling Donckers Koffie and staff. (photo: Remko Kramer)
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