From the highlands of Ethiopia to the roads of the worlds pro tour cycling scene.
This is the path Tsgabu Gebremaryan Grmay (photo) has chosen, the first Ethiopian cyclist to have signed with World Tour cycling team LAMPRE-MERIDA.
The twenty three year old climber has signed a contract for the 2015 season with the formation blue-fuchsia-green, becoming the second African athlete in the history of the team (the first being Robert Hunter).
Born in Mekele, Ethiopia on the 25 August, 1991, 175 cm tall and a weight of 63 kg, Grmay began to refine his potential in cycling during 2010 and 2011 at the World Cycling Centre (CMC) in Aigle, Switzerland, where he spent a two-year period during which Grmay took part in various European competitions for amateurs.
The turning point came in 2012 when he turned professional with MTN Qhubeka team: his best results as a pro include two titles as Ethiopian road champion, two titles as Ethiopian to time trial champion, a stage win and second place in the overall standings during the tour of Taiwan edition of 2013.
The technical staff and management of the LAMPRE-MERIDA realised an opportunity in his potential as a climber, Grmays’ climbing qualities and abilities which are believed to still have room for improvement, as highlighted by the team manager Brent Copeland: “The quality of climber Tsgabu is has been refined day after day as a daily practice, not only due to his training area of where he lives at an altitude of 2400 meters in the highlands of Ethiopia but also due to his mentality and culture of giving consistent hard work and dedication to bringing out the best in himself as an athlete and person which he is.
I already knew Grmay for his militancy in team MTN Qhubeka and I appreciated his character and his natural talent he has for cycling, for which I believe there is room for growth and improvement: he is one of our many investments for the future, one in which we believe to bring an exponent of African cycling to the worlds pro tour cycling scene.
This opportunity in which Tsgabu finds himself with is something I believe will contribute to help bring out the best in him in order for him to show his true potential“
This is the comment by Grmay: “For me stepping up to a World Tour team is a very great encouragement and it pushes me to work hard for the future in order to reach the biggest dream of my life: to race in the Tour de France.
I am very happy and lucky to be with Team Lampre-Merida. I am the first Ethiopian rider to sign with a World Tour team, so I am very proud about that as well and I want to say thanks so much to Lampre-Merida for this great opportunity“.
Signing Gramy, LAMPRE-MERIDA opens its doors to yet another cycling scene, namely the African continent, after already showing our interest in the Asian cycling world.
The team management believe strongly in the development in African cycling and in the possibility of having African cyclists at the top level of professional racing in the future, thus, the reason for the investments as being a reference point for the talented riders of this continent.