DW: Is being in the excursion de France the give up of a protracted adventure for you  or could it be simply the start?

Natnael Berhane: that is my 2nd excursion de France, and that i want to come back again for greater inside the next few years. But first of all I need to supply a few correct results in this yr's edition. My dream is textual content to get a stage win.


What could a level win imply to you?

manifestly it would exchange my existence. However of route it's tough to win a level at the excursion de France. So in case you do manipulate to win one, it's a massive deal. A victory for me would also be a terrific notion for all African riders. I would really like to inspire greater gifted Africans to take up cycling, and a stage win ought to assist pave the manner for different African riders to show professional.

What has the assist been like for your own u . S .?

after I raced in the country wide championship in Eritrea the support turned into extraordinary. When they heard that I were selected for the tour de France all people went loopy. That turned into very motivating. I was also surprised by using how hard the other Eritrean riders raced and the way excellent they were. I hope that some of them may even have the danger to come back to Europe. I'm one hundred percentage sure that those talents could increase higher if they might additionally come to Europe and be a part of the pro peloton.

What drives you?

exact outcomes. All expert cyclists work difficult, but in case you virtually acquire some thing, this motivates you even more. For me, winning the countrywide championship and making it to the excursion de France gave me an additional improve. And two months ago my son become born. This became some other motivation. It's excellent to have a toddler in my existence.

How did you get into cycling?

I commenced getting to know to trip a bike whilst i was 4 or five years old. After I got older I started out mountain cycling and rode greater regulary. In 2005 I entered in first competitions at the mountain bike. On the cease of 2006 I swept to the street motorbike.

Who supported you at the time?

when I started out my parents didn't find it irresistible, specially my mother. When I started out racing I didn't inform my dad and mom about it. I received a few medals but my mother and father didn't understand approximately it. On the quit of 2005 i used to be at the top of the nearby mountainbike championship. So I stated to my dad and mom: "i will win the championship, I need your help next Sunday." My mother turned into indignant with me and instructed me that I shouldn't race once more. However fortuitously, the rest of my circle of relatives controlled to trade her thoughts. My father were given on board with the concept, and I received the championship. After this my father supported my and purchased me a road bike. My mom became mad at him as she didn't desired me to race due to the fact she become concerned that i might crash. She turned into  additionally afraid that I could depart college due to the fact of biking.

became she proper?

i was spending loads of time considering cycling (laughs). In the long run my mother supported me loads. Now she even involves see me race. When I race in Eritrea she continually comes out and helps me.

How did you are making your manner to Europe?

I came here in 2011 after racing in Eritrea, Ruanda and Gabon. It began with the global cycling Centre in in Aigle, [operated by the International Cycling Union]. The entirety changed into absolutely extraordinary. I saw snow for the primary time in my existence. I requested myself: "Whats happening right here?" (laughs). My first schooling trip in Europe become inside the rain, that become great for me on the time. I used to be fortunate enough to spend two years there before turning professional.

Did you face more boundaries than the eu cyclists?

sure, I suppose so. They raced after which they went domestic. However for me it turned into specific. I stayed here for several months before going returned home, as it become thus far away. But now not simply we African riders battle with this, it's the same for American or Australian riders.

African cycling seems to had been improving over the past few years. But now there are best three of you at the excursion de France. What's gone wrong?

Africa's group size records usually brought several riders, as a minimum four riders. Now not simply here but to different races too. We were racing at a high level, however now their approach has modified. I think they should give opportunities to African riders, supply them the threat to shine. This yr they handiest brought one, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. As a ways as I'm involved, there should be extra riders from our continent on Africa's crew.

when do we see the first African excursion de France winner?

I assume in a few years' time. Egan Bernal is an proposal. He comes from Colombia and has an top notch strength. He can win it. And maybe in a few years somebody like him from Africa can win it too.

Natnael Berhane, 28, is an Eritrean expert bike owner, who is competing on this 12 months's excursion de France for the French crew Cofidis. He has won numerous titles which includes the street races on the African road Championships in 2011 and 2013. He's the current Eritrean street race champion.

The interview became carried out by Joscha Weber.