Gabon: Meron Russom became head of the Tropical Amissa Bongo

The French Thomas Voeckler finished second step

BY PETER ERIC MBOG BATASSI

The second stage of Tropical Amissa Bongo will go down in the annals of African cycling. While two Eritreans had won the first stage in 2011, Daniel Teklehaymanot in Lambaréné and Libreville Natnael Berhane, it is this time Meron Russom who wore the leader's jersey in Ndjolé Wednesday.

(From our correspondent)

Meron Russom, the Eritrean of Team MTN-Qhubeka, has achieved what no rider on the continent had already done. With premiums achieved on the finish line for his third place in the stage, Meron Russom is mounted on the top of the podium provisional. There are still four stages to go and everything still to play. But this performance proves the great evolution of these African nations such as Eritrea, Ethiopia and Morocco who stood up today to seasoned pros of Team Europcar Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Charteau. These would certainly want to take already some lead overall enjoying the bumpy road to the day's stage, but they did not count the Astana riders and Eritreans.

At the age of twenty-five years, Meron Russom is not a stranger on the African continent. After his eleventh place in 2011 on the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, he won the difficult Tour of Eritrea. A few weeks ago, he finished ninth at the prestigious Tour of Morocco under the colors of Team MTN-Qhubeka based in South Africa, since he joined this year. His third place in the final sprint this afternoon had not frustrated, he knew that the bonuses would help him win the coveted yellow jersey.At his side, the Kazakh Nikita Umerbekov enjoying his stage win ahead of Thomas Voeckler. The French rider of Team Astana Continental is also a promising youngster, he won the Fleche in 2011 Ardennes in Belgium.

Software translation from French