Dawit Yemane from Eritrea won the overall classification of the Tour de Serbie 2022 ahead of his Dutch teammate Adne van Engelen.
On yesterday’s third stage, the heavily decimated professional team from Saarland laid the foundation for this success. On this key stage through the Divčibare mountains, the two of them built up a solid lead, celebrated the stage win together and took the overall lead.
“Two and a Half Men” show
However, the team was severely depleted due to illness and injury. So, in the end, what was left was a “Two and a Half Men” show. “Of course, I tried everything within my means to bring them down. But on a mountain stage they are in a different league, fortunately. It’s a pity, of course, that we had to start without Julian Lino, who was injured at the Tour of Romania. He would have been a solid backup in the mountains. And probably Léo Bouvier would have had good chances here in the sprint “, says Matthias Schnapka.
Today’s final stage also led through the Divčibare Mountains. Ultimately the stage from the previous day, only the other way round. So, the two BIKE AID riders were mostly on their own and Dawit, in the yellow jersey, also had to do a lot of leading work. A drop in temperature and rain showers did not make matters any easier. There were many falls on the slippery descents. But Adne and Dawit had gained a lot of respect in the field with their solo ride yesterday. Thus, the race remained quite controlled overall and the two were able to defend their lead in the overall standings.
First victory in Europe
“For me it’s the first victory in Europe and then an overall ranking at the same time. It makes me very proud and gives me confidence that I am on the right track,” says Dawit Yemane. For Team BIKE AID, it is the latest important tour success since Nikodemus Holler’s overall victory in the 2021 Tour of Thailand. The euphoria this victory has caused among the many Eritrean cycling fans is unbelievable.
“Of course, Biniam Girmay’s successes in the World Tour have a different dimension. Nevertheless, we are touched every time by the many positive reactions of Eritrean cycling fans. Our social media channels are starting to ignite. This is the kind of cycling enthusiasm we want to see and hopefully rekindle in Germany,” adds Matthias Schnapka.
“For us it was an important success at the right time. Last week Lucas won a stage in Romania and now the overall ranking has followed. I was really pleased to finish the race like this together with Dawit. Of course, I am also happy about my second place.
But most of all I’m happy for Dawit, for whom this success makes a much bigger difference than for me,” says Adne van Engelen, who now considers himself well prepared for the upcoming Tour of Iran.
This article was submitted by: BIKE AID