Three months - actually a short time. Nevertheless, it was a very successful and intense three months with Henok Mulubrhan. "The rider who was not supposed to join us" is now leaving again. He leaves as a freshly crowned African champion, fourth in the Tour of Antalya and fifth in the Tour du Rwanda. From a performance perspective, that's all that needs to be said.
Other teams thought the same and didn't hesitate for long when they were still looking for a climber for the Giro d'Italia. The choice quickly fell on Henok Mulubrhan from Eritrea. For Henok, it's now a new turning point for his future career, and this time he can't let it be taken away from him: "I was happy and sad at the same time when the offer came in. For me it means that I can take the next step and dream of the Giro d'Italia in a month. On the other hand, I found a great team and incredible support in BIKE AID - now to leave so soon is not easy," said Henok Mulubrhan.
Timo Schäfer on the leaving of the strong Eritrean: "Losing Henok hurts of course, especially now after such great results in the first races. But it's good for him and it was and is our goal to develop riders from Africa and to give them the opportunity to compete in Grand Tours.
However, it is a logical consequence. A consequence of many developments that are currently taking place on the stage of international cycling. Just a few years ago, riders from Africa were looked at with suspicion, if not laughed at. We also received comments such as: "in Africa, anyone can win". But since last Sunday at the latest, this should be history - cycling in Africa must be taken seriously and not only by pioneers, but by the entire cycling world. Biniam Girmay from Eritrea demonstrated in an impressive way what the "new generation" from Africa is capable of when he left some of the biggest names of the world behind him at Ghent - Wevelgem and now became one of them himself. "There are so many talented riders in Africa who just don't get the opportunities. The more riders you give these opportunities to compete here in Europe as well, the more will make it to the top in the end," said Matthias Schnapka.
Henok also has the potential to join the top ranks. He belongs to this generation of African cycling and is now setting out to prove what potential lies in the young men from East Africa. "Henok has an absolute winning mentality. Since day one he has talked about winning races. Not riding well, or the usual 'let's see' - no, he wanted to win. We haven't had that in such a way in our team and I hope that part of this mentality will stay in the team", says Timo Schäfer.
The whole Team BIKE AID wishes Henok good luck on his further journey and we hope that Henok will fulfill more of his dreams. We continue to work on enabling young talents from Africa to take this path and are happy to contribute to this positive development!