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Aklilu Arefayne joins Circus-ReUz-Technord

Circus-ReUz-Technord is pleased to welcome Aklilu Arefayne, an 18 year old Eritrean rider. With his compatriot Biniam Girmay and the South-African Louis Meintjes, he becomes the third African to wear the colors of the structure of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and the seventeenth element in the Continental Development team directed by Kévin Van Melsen.

Aklilu Arefayne is one of the most promising riders of his generation on the African continent. Last year he won a golden (time trial) and silver (road race) medal at the African championships in the junior category, before winning the national title in the time trial. Last month he was the runner up in the African time trial championships in Accra (Ghana), in the U23 category this time.

Since the start of season 2023 Arefayne showed himself among the professional riders in the most prestigious races on the African continent, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo and the Tour of Rwanda, continuously attacking and being rewarded with the most aggressive rider award several times. In Rwanda he even finished eighth on Mount Kigali, helping his compatriot Henok Mulubrhan to win the general classification.

A couple of months after his first race out of Africa on the occasion of the junior World Championships in Wollongong (Australia), Arefayne will discover the European continent in the colors of Circus-ReUz-Technord.

« In July 2015 I saw how Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first Eritrean to participate and to wear the polkadot jersey in the Tour de France, two days before my eleventh birthday. Two years later I started cycling myself, dreaming about becoming a professional rider and racing in the biggest cycling event in the world myself. I’m very happy with the opportunity to develop myself in Belgium thanks to Circus-ReUz-Technord, as one of the only African riders. My example and new teammate Biniam Girmay lives 1.5 kilometer from my home in Asmara. His support will be precious to help me adapting to Europe. I will have to acclimatize to the weather, which is very different to what I’m used to in Africa. For example, during my time trial at the African championships in Ghana it was 38 degrees. This Wednesday I did my first training ride on my new Cube Litening C68:X in the Liège province, accompanied by Francesco Busatto. I’m very happy with the warm welcome I received from the team. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the team and staff and to learn alongside them! »

« Our structure is pleased to actively contribute to the development of African cycling by welcoming and coaching one of the many young Eritrean talents. Biniam Girmay speaks very highly about what Aklilu Arefayne is showing in their home country. Additionally, his first results as an U23 rider in the most prestigious African races in the beginning of this year were very promising. Welcoming this young rider in Europe is an interesting challenge for our team, which we take on with great motivation. The experience of Biniam Girmay is an excellent guideline to facilitate his integration and to create a home feeling for him in Belgium. Aklilu has undoubtedly a large progression margin, which we want to exploit with a professional training approach and individual coaching. I’m looking forward to see him race on his Cube Litening C:68X for the first time in regional races soon. We’re convinced about the potential of this project and with the whole structure we’ll do what we can to offer him the necessary support to foster his progression, which can undoubtedly lead to nice results on the long term! »


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