BIKE AID: Meron, how do you rate your first season here in Europe?
Meron Teshome: "My conclusion of 2016 is very positive. After some time of „acclimatization“ I could improve significantly and learn a lot. Also with the results I am very satisfied and these make me confident that I can develop again next year "
What was the best personal experience for you?
"There were so many good moments and also nice experiences. But at this year's Tour of Qinghai Lake there was this moment on the 11th stage when the whole team believed in me and we worked so hard and in the end I could make it to the 2nd place. That was a great moment, even though I did not win the stage, but the 2nd place was in the way it came liek a win for all of us."
And what was not so good for you?
"In general, it is very difficult for us Eritreans to get the suitable visas in order to be able to do our sport constantly and without any problems. This also prevents us from developing because we are continually interrupted and wait several months for a new visa. Also, the trip to the UCI world championship in Qatar was almost destroyed, due to ambiguities about visa matters, but all of the provided documents were correct. But the highly motivated madam of the airline was probably not quite clear about the rules and refused that I enter the plane. Only on the very last minute and after we had pulled out all the stops I could leave Frankfurt. This is in a way very disappointing to be treated like this lot of times".
Can you already tell us something about your goals for 2017?
"Now that I've been able to race a lot of races at a very high level and have learned a lot from it, I'd like to improve my sprint and become more consistent. There are days, I finish very well in the top five against very good competititors and then there are days where I have to fight really hard for a top 10 or even top 15 result in the sprint. I would like to improve that together with the whole team to be able to fight constantly for Top 5 results – or even victories. I am sure that I will get the support from all people involved and that makes me very happy when I see the future!“