Former UCI WCC trainees racing the Tour de Romandie
Eleven of the riders currently taking part in the UCI WorldTour’s Tour de Romandie are former trainees of the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Switzerland.
The route of the Tour de Romandie prologue through the streets of Aigle held no secrets for these athletes, who rode past the house where they lived during their time training at the UCI WCC. The first and second stages of the Swiss event also saw them set off from their former hometown of Aigle.
The highest profile rider among those who once rode in the UCI WCC colours is Great Britain’s Chris Froome (Team Sky). Meanwhile Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot (Team Dimension Data), who trained at the UCI WCC from 2009 to 2011, made headlines in 2015 when he became the first black African rider to wear the polka dot best climber’s jersey in the Tour de France. Four of his team-mates are also former UCI WCC trainees.
UCI President Brian Cookson, who was among the spectators at Tuesday’s prologue, commented: “It is hugely gratifying to see our former trainees reach the highest level of road cycling competition. It reflects the fantastic work carried out by our coaches at the UCI WCC.”
UCI WCC Director Frédéric Magné said he was proud to see so many former trainees signing professional contracts and enjoying successful careers: “Our aim at the UCI WCC is to help talented young athletes from the world over realise their full potential and chase their dreams. To see them riding for UCI WorldTeams is the greatest reward for the work of our coaching staff.”
Since opening its doors in 2002, the UCI World Cycling Centre has trained nearly 1300 athletes, both men and women across different cycling disciplines, from countries on all five continents. The UCI WCC’s satellite centres in Africa, Asia and America also play an important role in training athletes in different regions.
The riders at the Tour de Romandie who once wore the UCI WCC jersey are:
- Anaas Ait el Abdia (Morocco) – UAE Team Emirates
- Tsagabu Gebremeryam Grmay (Ethiopia) – Bahrain-Merida
- Juraj Sagan (Slovakia) – Bora-Hansgrohe
- Andrey Amador (Costa Rica) – Movistar Team
- Natnael Berhane (Eritrea) – Team Dimension Data
- Merhawi Kudus (Eritrea) – Team Dimension Data
- Youcef Reguigui (Algeria) – Team Dimension Data
- Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eritrea) – Team Dimension Data
- Jaco Venter (South Africa) – Team Dimension Data
- Christopher Froome (Great Britain) – Team Sky
- Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) – Trek-Segafredo