The first stage of the Tour of Eritrea officially starts today the 18th of April. The first stage comprises 125.75 kms extending from Dbarwa to Keren. The first stage also includes: one category 2 climb at 12.29 kms, another climb of category 4 at 56.75 kms and two intermediate sprints at Adi Tekelezan and in Eden.
Today the Kenyan National Team joined the race – it being the fifth national team to compete in the Tour. The Tour of Eritrea is also hosting six clubs. The Dbarwa to Keren race began at 09:00 in Dbarwa.
The inhabitants of Dbarwa welcomed the racers with a show prepared by elementary school students. Three riders received a special welcome, Dbarwa being their hometown, from the City Administrator. The three cyclists were Mehari Tesfatsion, Amanuel Tsegay and Dawit Yemane.
Although the City Administrator promised to name an award in their name if any of the three hometown riders finished third place or higher. Unfortunately none of the three hometown riders did.
As has become typical the whole peloton started the race aggressively – with speed. The peloton split after the first climb with the front riders breaking away. Near Adi Guadad a new group of attackers swept past the first leading group.
The race kept the same rhythm with Meron Teshome of Bike Aid finishing 1st covering the stage in 2 hours and 58 minutes. He was followed by Clint Trevino Hendricks from South Africa National Team and Amore Vita’s Redi Halilaj.