High Speed Finish
Today’s Stage, from Dekamhare to Mendefera, stretched nearly 85 kms on a relatively un-sloped path. This Stage, halfway through the tour offered little respite for the riders. The Dekemhare-Mendefera route has two intermediate sprints, one in Asmara and one in Halhale.
Meron Teshome wore the green jersey, having lost the yellow jersey to Amanuel Tsegay of the Eritrean National Team yesterday during the 2nd stage. Meron would have also lost the green jersey save the review conducted by UCI Commissioner.
Before the race began Samsom Selomun, coach of the Eritrean National Team, told the press that his riders are fixated on keeping the yellow jersey their teammate Amanuel Tsegay took away from Meron Teshome in the 2nd stage.
The tension in the air was high after yesterday’s finish line review. The riders kicked off the race with unbelievable speed. Continuous attacks from riders from the Rwanda National Team added further energy to the race.
By the time the race hit the outskirts of Asmara three riders attacked and broke away from the peloton with a time gap of 00:00:30. Jean Bosco (#2) of the Rwanda National Team and Marco Bernardinetti (#84) of Amore Vita led the way to Asmara, and then left to Godaif and again out of Asmara. They also received points for the first intermediate sprint.
The route to Mendefera followed a down-slope, with few opportunities to slow down. Inside the extended peloton the attacks were endless and many breakaways were attempted. They’d be shortly neutralized as the riders sped up to 70 kph.
On the slope down to Mendefera the peloton regrouped and #2 rider of the Rwanda National Team fell out of the leading pack. Meanwhile #84 of Amore Vita and #94 dashed forward.
25 kms away from the finish line Marco Bernardinetti and Yohanes Tesfay were still leading at a time distance of 00:01:30. At nearly 17 kms away from the finish a large breakaway group reached the two riders who were leading the race.
This led to an incredible sprint. #2 Jean Bosco of Rwanda National Team had an accident roughly 120 meters away from the finishing line. Meron Teshome of Bike Aid was classified first, followed by Issak Tesfom of Eritrea National Team and Trevino Hendricks of team South Africa. UCI reports of the stage show that 24 riders finished the race at 02h 05’06’’.