Hidden away in North East Africa – ‘The Horn’ – bordering Ethiopia and Sudan is a little known country called Eritrea, officially ‘The State of Eritrea.’ At 118,000 square kilometres it’s around half the size of the United Kingdom; with a population similar to that of Scotland at an estimated five million. It’s better known for producing athletes of the running variety, but one ambitious, young sportsman is breaking the trend. Daniel Teklehaimanot, born in Eritrea in November 1988, is our man.
He first started making a name for himself when he took the U23 African National Time Trial Championships in 2008.
Following this he was contacted by the UCI World Cycling Centre to offer him the opportunity to take his racing to the next level.
At the same time he was also offered a place at Amore & Vita professional continental team as a stagiaire.
His national federation interfered with the latter and he moved to the UCI Centre at Aigle, Switzerland in May the following year.
This first season based in Europe served as a break-through year for the Eritrean.
His best result of the season was an excellent 6th place at the Tour de L’Avenir, week long stage race in France.
He was already mixing it amongst riders who had already secured their places in the ProTour ranks for the following season.
He stayed with the Swiss based unit through 2010 where he once again made a big i