Skip to main content

Grmay makes history for Ethiopia

Image 1 of 10

King of the mountains Feng Chun Kai is celebrated as a hero in Taiwan.

King of the mountains Feng Chun Kai is celebrated as a hero in Taiwan.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 2 of 10

A lesson in stretching by Wu Po Hung of Senter-Merida.

A lesson in stretching by Wu Po Hung of Senter-Merida.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 3 of 10

Newly retired Wang Kam Po now coaches Hong Kong's talents Leung Chun Wing and Choi Ki Ho.

Newly retired Wang Kam Po now coaches Hong Kong's talents Leung Chun Wing and Choi Ki Ho.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 4 of 10

Local folklore at the start in Taoyuan.

Local folklore at the start in Taoyuan.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 5 of 10

Big crowds at the Tour de Taiwan.

Big crowds at the Tour de Taiwan.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 6 of 10

A very determined Feng Chun Kai ahead of Dennis van Niekerk and stage 4 winner Zachary Bell.

A very determined Feng Chun Kai ahead of Dennis van Niekerk and stage 4 winner Zachary Bell.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 7 of 10

Max Success and Drapac riding in defense of yellow and polka dot jerseys for Bernard Sulzberger and Qin Chen Lu respectively.

Max Success and Drapac riding in defense of yellow and polka dot jerseys for Bernard Sulzberger and Qin Chen Lu respectively.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 8 of 10

Historic win for Ethiopia's Tsgabu Grmay.

Historic win for Ethiopia's Tsgabu Grmay.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 9 of 10

Great effort for second place by Saufi Mat Senan of Terengganu.

Great effort for second place by Saufi Mat Senan of Terengganu.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)
Image 10 of 10

Tsgabu Grmay (stage winner), Feng Chun Kai (king of the mountain), Saufi Mat Senan (best Asian rider) and Bernard Sulzberger (race leader) honoured after stage 5.

Tsgabu Grmay (stage winner), Feng Chun Kai (king of the mountain), Saufi Mat Senan (best Asian rider) and Bernard Sulzberger (race leader) honoured after stage 5.
(Image credit: Aaron Lee/Tour de Taiwan)

The 25th Tour de Taiwan will remain in the history of cycling globalization for the first-ever international victory by an Ethiopian cyclist. Coming from a country known for his world-class runners, Tsgabu Grmay of MTN-Qhubeka made a big impact by winning stage 5 in style after finishing 5th overall at the Tropicale Amissa-Bongo and 9th at Le Tour de Langkawi at the age of only 21.

The former pupil of the Potchefstroom-based African UCI Continental Center and the World Cycling Center in Aigle in 2011 attacked uphill with 3km to go and made it all the way to the finish in an attempt that helped him move up to second on GC, 27 seconds down on race leader Bernard Sulzberger. The under-23 African time trial champion prolonged an effort made at the front of the bunch by his team-mate Louis Meintjes who was already very convincing the day before and proved once again that MTN-Qhubeka has a lot of young talents in its roster.

“This tactic was absolutely planned,” Grmay explained. “We don’t have a sprinter at MTN-Qhubeka here, so we have to attack to try and win. It was also part of the plan to have someone like Dennis in the break earlier on. Once I got a gap, I gave everything I could. This is my first pro season, so it makes me so happy to collect my first victory. I’m happy for Africa and for Ethiopia.”

“I’m definitely impressed by him, when he attacked with 3km to go, everyone was at the limit,” echoed Sulzberger who didn’t encounter any particular difficulty, tactically speaking, in defending his lead. Drapac sent Thomas Palmer and Robbie Hucker in the first significant breakaway of day after 25 kilometers of racing with Adiq Hussainie (Champion System), Drapac), Anthony Giacoppo (Huon-Genesys), Masahiko Yasui (Shimano), Ian Bibby (Madison) and Dennis van Niekerk (MTN-Qhubeka). The latter refused to be caught by the bunch and re-opened the gas before the junction, soon to be rejoined by two riders from Champion System: the previous day’s winner Zachary Bell and local hero Feng Chun Kai.

The trio stayed away for 85 kilometres with a maximum advantage of 2:10 over the bunch mostly led by Drapac. Feng pursued his effort with Van Niekerk until they got caught with 12km to go. “My main goal was to take the lead of the king of the mountains competition,” the Taiwanese explained, “but I kept going in case there was a chance to go for the stage win as well. I’ve won the KOM here last year already but I feel stronger now. My previous set-up in Taiwan was good but since I’ve joined an international team like Champion System, I’m learning more and faster at the contact of experienced riders.”

Patrick Shaw (Huon) and Jakub Kratochvila (Arbö) tried their luck in the uphill stretch leading to Kanpanzan, a wonderful panorama in the country of Taoyuan. But it was Grmay who found the way to escape and anticipate the sprint by ten seconds. Following his best friend Shahrul Mat Amin’s stage victory on stage 3 in Changhua, Saufi Mat Senan of Terengganu took on board the lesson of his crash last year at the end of this exact same stage of the Tour de Taiwan. This time around, he used the final curves he had studied carefully with his French coach Sébastien Duclos to perfection to take the second place and the time bonus that puts him in the position of best Asian rider ahead of Hong Kong’s Choi Ki Ho.

Asked if he’s afraid of the young guns from MTN-Qhubeka who have captured most of the attention by their aggressive racing style in the past two stages, Sulzberger admitted ahead of stage 6 that he has terrain favorable for big offensives around New Taipei City: “Maybe I should be a little bit… They rode awesome today again and I can’t thank my team enough for the work they’ve done for me. I have to repay them by winning GC.” With Grmay in second place overall and Meintjes in fourth, the first ever African Pro Continental team has two cards to play and won’t surrender until the closing criterium on Sunday morning in Taipei.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka2:59:35
2Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:00:10
3Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
4Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille
5Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
6Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling
7Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team
8Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China
9Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling
10Oddbjørn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi
11Robbie Hucker (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling
12Dirk Müller (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS
13Sai-Udomsin Phuchong (Tha) Thailand National Team
14Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN Qhubeka
15Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lufti (Mas) Malaysia National Team
16Sigurd Nesset (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi
17Sirironnachai Sarawut (Tha) Thailand National Team
18Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis Team
19Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team
20Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
21Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
22Christopher Jenninngs (RSA) Team La Pomme Marseille
23Jai Crawford (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser
24Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
25Morten Sandvik (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi
26Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team
27Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille
28Po Hung Wu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida
29Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser
30Takero Terasaki (Jpn) Japan National Team
31David Clarke (GBr) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team
32Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN Qhubeka
33Hiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Japan National Team
34Joseph Cooper (NZl) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser
35Boonratanathanakorn Thurakit (Tha) Thailand National Team
36Chen Lu Qin (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:00:17
37John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team
38Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:00:22
39Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:00:27
40Hao Liu (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:00:31
41Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team
42Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:00:40
43Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN Qhubeka
44Kun Hung Hung (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:00:52
45Petr Lechner (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer
46Hui Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team
47Yin Chih Wang (Tpe) CCN Cycling Team
48Grischa Janorschke (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS
49En Huang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:00:56
50King Lok Cheung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China
51Floris Goesinnen (Ned) DRAPAC Cycling
52Ryoma Nonaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:00:58
53Ohko Shimizu (Jpn) Japan National Team0:01:16
54Lee Rodgers (GBr) CCN Cycling Team0:01:20
55Che Wei Hu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida
56Benjamin Sydlik (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS
57Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:01:24
58Yat Wai Chan (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:01:36
59Mohd Nur Rizuan Zainal (Mas) Malaysia National Team
60Mohd Saiful Anwar Azis (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team
61Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:01:55
62Benjamin Edmüller (Ger) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:02:01
63Max Walsleben (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:02:03
64Liphongyu Navuti (Tha) Thailand National Team0:02:20
65Ahmad Fahmi Farhan Ahmad Fuat (Mas) Malaysia National Team
66Yi Hao Tseng (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:02:48
67Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:03:10
68Zachary Bell (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:03:57
69Chun Wing Leung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China
70Halvor Tandrevold (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:04:02
71Patrick Shaw (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser
72Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:04:04
73Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan National Team0:04:07
74Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:04:09
75Masahiko Yasui (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:05:03
76Andrew Tennant (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:05:13
77Dominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis Team0:05:14
78Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis Team
79Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:06:01
80Christoph Scweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:06:04
81Andreas Müller (Aut) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:06:06
82Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:06:15
83Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:06:49
84Hsin Hua Huang (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:07:17
85Thomas Palmer (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:07:32
86Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:07:48
87Nur Arif Prayoga (Ina) Polygon Sweet Nice Team
88Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis Team
89Rick Ampler (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS
90Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team
91Burr Ho (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:07:54
92Yasuharo Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:09:03
93Shimpei Fukuda (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:10:15
94Gordon Mccauley (NZl) DRAPAC Cycling0:13:17

General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling15:02:59
2Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka0:00:27
3Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:00:28
4Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN Qhubeka
5Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:00:31
6Oddbjørn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:00:37
7Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:00:41
8Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China
9Liam Holohan (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:00:43
10Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:00:47
11Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:00:53
12Sigurd Nesset (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi
13Robbie Hucker (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:00:55
14Sai-Udomsin Phuchong (Tha) Thailand National Team0:00:59
15Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:01:04
16David Clarke (GBr) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team
17Jai Crawford (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser
18Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:01:08
19Morten Sandvik (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi
20Po Hung Wu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:01:19
21Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:01:20
22Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lufti (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:01:35
23Chen Lu Qin (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:01:36
24Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:01:39
25King Lok Cheung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:01:40
26Sirironnachai Sarawut (Tha) Thailand National Team0:01:46
27John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:01:47
28Dirk Müller (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:02:03
29Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:02:08
30Hui Zhang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:02:09
31Boonratanathanakorn Thurakit (Tha) Thailand National Team0:02:10
32Hao Liu (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:02:28
33Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille0:02:36
34Christopher Jenninngs (RSA) Team La Pomme Marseille0:02:44
35Kun Hung Hung (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:02:59
36Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:03:01
37Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:03:16
38Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:03:33
39En Huang (Chn) Max Success Sports Cycling Team0:03:43
40Floris Goesinnen (Ned) DRAPAC Cycling0:03:50
41Yat Wai Chan (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:04:03
42Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille0:04:04
43Lee Rodgers (GBr) CCN Cycling Team0:04:08
44Mohd Saiful Anwar Azis (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:04:11
45Ryoma Nonaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:04:19
46Grischa Janorschke (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:04:49
47Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team0:04:53
48Ohko Shimizu (Jpn) Japan National Team0:04:56
49Yin Chih Wang (Tpe) CCN Cycling Team0:05:39
50Benjamin Edmüller (Ger) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:05:45
51Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:05:49
52Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:06:10
53Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:07:03
54Petr Lechner (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:07:19
55Christoph Scweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:07:51
56Jakub Kratochvila (Cze) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:08:08
57Andreas Müller (Aut) ARBÖ-Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer0:08:33
58Zachary Bell (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:08:34
59Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:08:42
60Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:08:53
61Halvor Tandrevold (Nor) Team Frøy-Bianchi0:08:58
62Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan National Team0:08:59
63Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:09:20
64Max Walsleben (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:09:25
65Hsin Hua Huang (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:10:15
66Benjamin Sydlik (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:11:00
67Patrick Shaw (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:11:44
68Masahiko Yasui (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:12:06
69Che Wei Hu (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:12:12
70Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN Qhubeka0:12:13
71Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:13:03
72Takero Terasaki (Jpn) Japan National Team0:13:24
73Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team0:13:58
74Yi Hao Tseng (Tpe) Team Senter - Merida0:14:10
75Hiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Japan National Team0:14:19
76Liphongyu Navuti (Tha) Thailand National Team0:15:07
77Dominic Jelfs (Irl) Madison Genesis Team0:15:33
78Nur Arif Prayoga (Ina) Polygon Sweet Nice Team0:16:24
79Ahmad Fahmi Farhan Ahmad Fuat (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:16:38
80Joseph Cooper (NZl) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser0:16:57
81Burr Ho (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:17:25
82Mohd Nur Rizuan Zainal (Mas) Malaysia National Team0:17:30
83Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:17:34
84Andrew Tennant (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:18:18
85Rick Ampler (Ger) NUTRIXXION ABUS0:19:55
86Thomas Palmer (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling0:20:31
87Chun Wing Leung (HKg) Team Hong Kong China0:20:49
88Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:22:04
89Brennan Townshend (GBr) Madison Genesis Team0:22:53
90Yasuharo Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:23:03
91Gordon Mccauley (NZl) DRAPAC Cycling0:24:40
92Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling0:24:57
93Shotaro Iribe (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team0:27:44
94Shimpei Fukuda (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team0:30:39

Latest on Cyclingnews