Bardiani CSF Faizanè announced the signing of Eritrean talent Henok Mulubrhan, 22, who raced the first part of the season with the BikAid team. Mulubrhan was under contract to debut with Qhubeka-NextHash until the team was forced to end its WorldTour ambitions when it gave up the search for new title sponsors in November.
Mulubrhan spent two years in the Qhubeka organisation's development programme but was left without prospects over the winter and signed with the German-registered BikeAid team. In the early season he raced to sixth overall in the Tour of Antalya and fifth overall in the Tour of Rwanda. He went on to win the African continental championships road race and was second in the time trial.
"I am truly grateful to the Reverberi family and the Bardiani CSF Faizanè team for the opportunity granted to me," Mulubrhan said in a team press release and a social media video. "My goal is to show really good results for the team in 2022. Hopefully, I will be in good shape for the season.
"Last year I had turned down a couple of offers to go pro with the Qhubeka team that had made me grow in their continental, then unfortunately everyone knows how it went. I could not think that my dream cultivated since childhood would fade like this and therefore I did not give up. Even before winning the African continental title, I was contacted by the team and I found an agreement to become a pro.
"I think I can give a lot to the team by repaying them for the trust they have received. I am a complete rider who can have good sprints in small groups, as I demonstrated in the last Continental Championship and make good things on mixed roads. I am not a pure climber but the climb does not scare me and if I remain in a small group then I can try to win the sprints. I can't wait to start my adventure with Bardiani CSF Faizanè."
Mulubrhan said he would make his debut with the Italian team in May but will not attempt to start the Giro d'Italia. The Bardiani team will compete in the Tour of Norway in May.
Bruno Reverberi welcomed Mulubrhan to the team, saying his signing keeps the team's philosophy of developing young riders.
"African cycling in recent years has grown a lot and is now under the eyes of everyone," Reverberi said, referring to the victory in Gent-Wevelgem of Biniam Girmay, among other outstanding results from African riders. "We had already moved to hire this young man before March 27, when Henok won the African continental champion title. In his first month as a professional, there will be no Giro d'Italia or World Tour races for him, but he will make his debut with us in other competitions in May."
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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.
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