Tsegabu Girmay (Photo: www.qhubeka.org )

Tsegabu Girmay (Photo: www.qhubeka.org )

Stage 5: Taoyuan County Hall – Kanpanzan 144km

The 25th Tour de Taiwan will remain in the history of cycling globalization for the first-ever international victory by an Ethiopian cyclist. Coming from a country known for his world-class runners, Tsgabu Grmay of MTN-Qhubeka made a big impact by winning stage 5 in style after finishing 5th overall at the Tropicale Amissa-Bongo and 9th at Le Tour de Langkawi at the age of only 21.

The former pupil of the Potchefstroom-based African UCI Continental Center and the World Cycling Center in Aigle in 2011 attacked uphill with 3km to go and made it all the way to the finish in an attempt that helped him move up to second on GC, 27 seconds down on race leader Bernard Sulzberger. The under-23 African time trial champion prolonged an effort made at the front of the bunch by his team-mate Louis Meintjes who was already very convincing the day before and proved once again that MTN-Qhubeka has a lot of young talents in its roster.

“This tactic was absolutely planned,” Grmay explained. “We don’t have a sprinter at MTN-Qhubeka here, so we have to attack to try and win. It was also part of the plan to have someone like Dennis in the break earlier on. Once I got a gap, I gave everything I could. This is my first pro season, so it makes me so happy to collect my first victory. I’m happy for Africa and for Ethiopia.”Read more