Seibeb Excels in France

Namibian cyclist Costa Seibeb recently excelled abroad when he won the Best Young Rider title at the Tour de Tarentaise in France last week.

Riding for the World Cycling Centre team, which is based in Switzerland, Seibeb finished the five-stage tour in eighth place overall while he won the title for the top U23 rider on the tour.

It was a great achievement and made up for his initial disappointment of not making the WCC team that competed in the top U23 Tour de l’Avenir in France last week.

“I was very disappointed when I didn’t make the team for the Tour de l’Avenir. I was really looking forward to that and had been practising hard and was in top shape. But I didn’t make the team – our coach said it was really hard for him to select a team because everyone was g, but he also had to give some of the young riders in our team a chance to ride in a big tour. So I didn’t make the team and I was really disappointed and cried a lot,” he said.

Luckily for Seibeb though, his coach entered him for the Tour de Tarentaise and his disappointment was soon forgotten as he produced some excellent performances.

The five-stage tour took place over four days and included some big mountain climbs at high altitudes so it provided a stiff challenge, but Seibeb was in fine form and ready to give his best.

He came second overall on the first stage and then overcame several obstacles, including a broken wheel and a flat tyre, to finish seventh on the second stage.

“My front wheel broke but another team helped me with a new wheel so I had to ride on my own to catch the peloton again. Then once I caught up I got a puncture, but I still managed to finish seventh on that stage,” he said.

Seibeb finished in the leading peloton on the next two stages and then on the last stage he had to work for his team mate who was the overall leader and eventually finished ninth, for an overall placing of eighth on the tour.

Seibeb said elated with his performance, saying he hoped it would lead to a professional contract in the near future.

“I am very happy now, after my initial disappointment. I had a good tour and afterwards I heard that quite a few teams had takes to my manager and were interested in me. So now I’m hoping that I’ll make one of these teams next year,” he said.

Seibeb returned to Namibia over the weekend and will now shortly rejoin the African Cycling Centre in Potchefstroom, South Africa, where he rides for the MTN Qhubeka feeder team.

Seibeb is just one of several Namibian cyclists who have been competing abroad over the past few weeks.

Professional cyclist Dan Craven is currently competing for Team Europcar in the ‘Vuelta a Espana” or the Tour of Spain, which is the third biggest European tour after the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.

Riding for Team Europcar against the top professional cyclists in the world, Craven has given a good account of himself so far.

His job is basically to protect the team leader, Romain Sicard and so far he has done a good job, with Sicard lying 31st overall, 8:03 behind the leader, Nairo Quintana of Columbia, who won the Giro d’Italia in June.

Alberto Contador of Spain, who won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009 is lying second, while another Spaniard, Alejandro Valverde is lying third.

The Tour of Spain consists of 21 stages and concludes on 14 September.

21-year-old Till Drobisch was selected for the World Cycling Team that competed in the Tour de l’Avenir, but he crashed out of the race on the fourth stage, after lying 21st out of the 126 riders.

Drobisch suffered numerous injuries, breaking his collarbone amongst others, which has forced him to end his season prematurely.

Mountain bike specialist Martin Freyer has meanwhile also been invited to the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland where he is currently participating in a mountain bike development camp.

Source : The Namibian