Eritreaâ€™s Natnael Berhane, a World Cycling Centre trainee, has been elected 2012 African cyclist of the year by an international jury presided by Bernard Hinault.
Berhane wins this distinction comfortably over South Africaâ€™s Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Team MTN-Qhubeka), who shone in the UCI Europe Tour events this season such as the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports where he beat Lars Boom (Rabobank). The Moroccan Adil Jelloul, 2nd in the 2012 UCI Africa Tour, completes the podium.
Another WCC trainee, Algeriaâ€™s Youcef Reguigui (Groupement Sportif PÃ©trolier dâ€™AlgÃ©rie) finished 8th in the votes.
The Eritreans Meron Russom and Jani Tewelde, who trained at the World Cycling Centre at the beginning of the season before joining their professional team, Team MTN-Qhubeka, are 5th and 12th. Former WCC trainee BurkinabÃ© RasmanÃ© OuÃ©draogo is 7th.
Neo-professionnal at UCI WorldTour level with GreenEdge-Orica and figurehead of African cycling, the Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot did not feature in the list of nominated riders.
With this title, 21-year-old Berhane finishes the season in style before beginning his professional career with Team Europcar. He was extremely prominent in Africa (Continental Champion in the road race and the team time trial and victorious in the Tour dâ€™AlgÃ©rie) and in the UCI U23 Nationsâ€™ Cup (3rd in a stage of Toscana-Terra di Ciclismo, 7th and 8th in stages of Ville de Saguenay in Canada, 16th in the Tour of Flanders U23 and 18th in the Tour de lâ€™Avenir).
He will receive his trophy as 2012 African cyclist of the year during the Tropicale Amissa-Bongo-Tour du Gabon, which organised the election.
1. Natnael Berhane (Eritrea) 72 pts
2. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) 41
3. Adil Jelloul (Morocco) 39
4. Tarik Chaoufi (Morocco) 37
5. Meron Russom (Eritrea) 18
6. Azzadine Lagab (Algeria) 9
7. RasmanÃ© OuÃ©draogo (Burkina Faso) 8
8. Youcef Reguigui (Algeria) 4
- Okbamariam Tesfom (Eritrea) 4
- Getachew Atsbha (Ethiopia) 4
11. Daren Lill (South Africa) 2
12. Jani Tewelde (Eritrea) 1
- John Njoroge Muya (Kenya) 1
- Abraham Ruhumuriza (Rwanda) 1