For the edition of the Tour of Eritrea, Q & A has been traveling around the country alongside the riders, organizers and commissionaires.
The Tour of Eritrea 2016 finished on Saturday 23rd after five consecutive stages extending throughout the major cities and towns of Eritrea. The tour was followed by a concluding race, the Asmara Circuit on the 24th, conducted in honor of the Silver Jubilee of the Eritrean independence.
Previously, on our Wednesday edition I talked to some young riders from several teams ‘whom sparkled’ the tour with their enthusiasm. This time Q & A gives you Mr. Commissionaire.
Hi. I am Creig Awtry I am from South Africa. I have been appointed by UCI to be the president commissionaire to Eritrea, and now at the moment, for the tour.
What do you think of the Tour of Eritrea 2016?
Generally speaking the tour is very well organized and safety is incredible. The adjustments and accommodations are satisfactory. The riders are happy and I am too, the riders have been very well taken care of. I think that the standards of UCI have been fully met.
So far I am very impressed, it has been a very good tour. From the staring day, on the 16th right up to yesterday (the fifth stage of the tour), the tour’s arrangement has been exceptional. It is quite obvious that the organizers and coordinators of the tour have all gone out of their way to assist this race.
And the roads; all the roads with problems were mended by the country for the race. So your country has worked really hard to see through a smooth sail for the Tour of Eritrea 2016.
I witnessed so much effort supporting the sport as well as all of the riders.
Likewise the standard of the competition has definitely improved; and not only in Eritrea but throughout Africa. The riders are growing in number and potential, some of your riders for example, are riding for international pro teams. All in all, the criterions have been upgraded remarkably.
Any problems? I am sure there were some.
Yes, one or two small things. I will discuss them with the organizers and brief them on my views.
One of the main requirements of the UCI is the riders’ safety, and I saw no problems on that matter. The safety of the riders has been fully guaranteed, I saw no harm at any stage or in any places we traveled to.
Some technical glitches yes, but nothing major really. We will talk it over with the organizers.
How much did you know about Eritrean cycling?
I watched the Eritrean riders over the years and I have seen major growth. Daniel Tecklehaimanot is riding with Dimension Data and he is not the only one, so I see that cycling is a sport that has good reception in your country. And when riders are recognized on an international level, I believe, has good impact for African cycling as a whole.
As you know you have Eritrean riders with international pro teams: two of which are riding in Dimension Data and I am very proud of them. As such I am obviously keen of Eritrean riders because Daniel and Merhawi are riding in a pro team that is registered in the country from which I come from; South Africa.
Our riders are…
My impression on Eritrean riders is optimistic, I see a great future for cycling in Eritrea. Looking at your riders in the tour I can say that you’ve got amazing riders: they are young, forthcoming and extremely talented. They brought you victory in the African Championship as they did so well in Morocco, and they are doing so great in the tour. Therefore I see no problems for their future, they all are good. Consequently African cycling will be having even better realizations from stream to stream.
What do you think of Eritrea?
It is a beautiful country. You have so much possibilities to make your country an acknowledged tourist site, I think that people would love to come visit Eritrea. There is so much to offer here: especially the population, the people are so friendly and welcoming, so to me Eritrea is a wonderful place to visit.