By Zeb Woodpower October 21, 2017 10:16am
Updated: October 21, 2017 10:45am Race: Tour of Guangxi
Teklehaimanot looking for new team in final race of the season
Eritrean closes out his time with Dimension Data at Tour of Guangxi
"It is my last race with the team. I am looking for other teams. It is
October now. It is difficult to organise the situation," Teklehaimanot
told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 3 of the Tour of Guangxi.
The 28-year-old joined the South African team in 2014 after two
seasons at Orica-GreenEdge. He started his career at the World Cycling
Centre, later riding for the Continental Amore & Vita-McDonalds squad
and then as a stagiaire for the Cervelo Test Team in 2010 before
turning pro with Orica.
After making his Grand Tour debut at the 2012 Vuelta a España,
Teklehaimanot returned to the Spanish race in 2014 and then made his
Tour de France debut in 2015. He wore the king of the mountains jersey
in the first week of the race before returning to the French Grand
Tour the following year and then making his Giro d'Italia debut in May
of 2017. He also wore the climber's jersey at the Giro, adding another
chapter to the history of Eritrean and African cycling.
"My form was not too bad at the beginning of the season. I had the
Giro then nationals, [Tour of] Austria, and then didn't race for like
three months," Teklehaimanot said of his 2017 season. "I crashed in
the last stage of Austria and broke my finger. It was a really bad
situation for me. At that moment, I was really motivated again for the
Vuelta but this happened with the finger."
Despite the broken finger, for which Teklehaimanot recently had
surgery to remove a metal splint, he was still able to finish in
seventh place overall at Austria - the best European GC result of his
Although Teklehaimanot finds himself in the tricky situation of
securing his future at WorldTour level in late October, he leaves on
good terms with the team which has grown into one of the top squads in
"The team is really great. Four years of course with the team. When it
was MTN it was another team and now it has completely changed into one
of the big WorldTour teams," said the three-time national road race
"I am really grateful to the team and I had a great programme for four
years. I was really engaged, especially when I was part of the Tour de
France team for two years and other Grand Tours."
Before Teklehaimanot closes the Dimension Data chapter of his career
and farewells his teammates, he is hoping to help compatriot Mekseb
Debesay to a top result in China - a rider he describes as “great,
explosive" and capable of contending in the uphill finale to stage 4.