LUCCA, Italy – An impressive ride from Ethiopia’s Negasi Haylu Abreha saw him finish an excellent 14th position overall in his debut Giro d’Italia under 23 – the ‘Baby Giro’.
This saw the 22-year-old from Mekelle finish the race as the highest-placed African rider in one of the toughest events on the calendar.
The race proved to be very challenging with some extreme levels of climbing, and was ultimately won by Leo Hayter of the Hagens Berman Axeon team.
14th was an excellent result for the young man who has proved an example to us all in showing incredible spirit in the face of great challenge.
Overall, the high level of racing saw Team Qhubeka’s contingent severely tested but come through the event cementing our continued belief in the spreading our message of hope in that bicycles change lives.
“It was a good, very hard race. It was my first time riding the Baby Giro and I’m very happy, I absolutely gave my very best. It’s the best result that I’ve achieved with Team Qhubeka, and it’s my best result overall on GC in a race,’ said Abreha.
“I want to thank my teammates and the team for the incredible support, and I look forward to using this result to continue to develop.”
There were top-10 stage finishes for Nicolo Parisini – 5th on stage two and 6th on stage four – as well as for Kevin Bonaldo, who was 8th on the opening stage.
Bonaldo was unfortunately forced to abandon the event due to illness while a crash suffered by Mattia Guasco saw him fight bravely all the way to the finish of the race but unable to effect the racing in the way he’d hoped. He did though play a crucial support role.
That was alongside the impressive Eritrean Nahom Zeray Aray, who at just 19-years-old and in just his first few months of racing in Europe, showed enormous potential in such a prestigious race. Along with Guasco, his piloting of Abreha in crucial parts of the race proved crucial in ultimately a very successful week of racing for Team Qhubeka.
About Team Qhubeka
Team Qhubeka is a movement from Africa, aiming to build an inclusive global community; united by the common purpose of changing lives with bicycles.Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in seven Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
2022 saw us return to UCI Continental status as we took the next step in our journey that will see us rebuild, with the intention to return to highest level and once again represent Africa at the Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 35 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.