ProTouch Continental Road Cycling Team – the number one Team in Africa – completed the 15th edition of the UCI 2.1-ranked Tropical Amissa Bongo in Gabon yesterday. The seven stage tour, included over 1 020km of racing from Bitam to Libreville and, once again the Team did not disappoint. ProTouch, finished off the Tour with four Top 10 stage finishes, two Top 15th places in the General Classification, a 15th Place in the Youth Classification and 5th overall in the Team Classification and 10 new UCI Points to open their UCI Points Account for the season.
The Team roster consisted of Jayde Julius, Gustav Basson, Reynard Butler, Rohan du Plooy, Calvin Beneke and Hendrik (HB) Kruger who, lined up alongside World Tour Team [Cofidis], two Professional Teams from Europe [Total Direct Energie, Nippo Delko Provence] and four other Continental Teams [Bai – Sicasal-Petro De Luanda, Natura4ever – Roubaix Lille Métropole, Dukla Banska Bystrica], and eight national teams [Cote-D’ivoire, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Algeria, Rwanda, Eritrea and Gabon] to compete for the general classification.
This years’ Tour saw five African Rider stage victories – the maximum achieved since 2014. The Eritrean National Team (3 stages), Algeria (1 stage) and Cameroon (1 stage). The Eritrean Team dominated the tour, winning three stages – one by Natnael Tesfazion in Oyem on the second day, which enabled him to wear the yellow jersey for five days until Libreville, and two by the 19-year old Biniam Girmay, managed the double in this years edition. He is the youngest rider in the history of Tropicale Amissa Bongo, to have already won three stages. Nothing was easy for the professionals who fought to the end for the victory.
The Gabonese public lined the roadsides, of the five provinces cheering on the riders as they passed through.
“I am proud of the Team, they displayed great team work, support and commitment this week. We are setting up the season to come, as we prepare now for the South African National Championships” announced Maxime Martin, Sports Director today.
Following on from the SA National Championships, the Team will head north to Tour du Rwanda – Africa’s Toughest Tour.
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