The 6th stage of the Tour de France would be a historical day for African cycling as Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first African rider to pull on the Polka Dot best climbers jersey and only the 3rd African ever, to wear a leader’s jersey at the Tour de France.
In each of the mountain sprints, the MTN-Qhubeka rider would show great awareness and strength to be able to get the better of Frenchman Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), ensuring he would be the first African rider ever to pull on the King of the Mountains Polka Dot jersey at the Tour de France.
At the final climber’s points of the day, Teklehaimanot rode it perfectly. The Eritrean rider jumped away in sight of the summit and scored a third point, giving him a historic Tour de France polka-dot jersey.
After Daryl Impey’s time in the yellow jersey in 2013 and Robbie Hunter wearing the white jersey in 2001, Daniel also becomes the 3rd African rider to wear any of the Tour de France leaders jersey’s in the history of the race.
At the finish line, teammate Edvald Boassen Hagen crossed the line in a decent 7th position to end off the best day in the history of the African team.
Daniel Teklehaimanot said:
“I am really happy to take the jersey. It is a big step for African cycling and I feel really proud at the moment because I have this jersey.”
“I am excited to be able to show my team’s colours on the podium because we are trying to give 5000 bicycles to African students, being on the podium will help our project and I want to help make a difference for my African people. It was always our plan to get this polka dot jersey so I am happy we could do it. I am proud to be African and I am proud to be Eritrean. This is a day I will never forget,” continued Teklehaimanot.
Teklehaimanot celebrated with a thumbs up live on television and celebrated even more on the podium when he pulled on the iconic polka-dot jersey.