Six riders have established their readiness and subsequent inclusion into the National Team,the Golden Pedals and are set to represent the country at this year’s iconic Africa event, “Tour Du Faso” commencing from the 26th October to 5th November,2023.
Ebenezer Frank Tetteh Quaye of All-stars, Foster Doevi of Gladiators Cycling Club, Emmanuel Sesi of Royal Cycling Club, Emmanuel Sharmah- of Young Stars, Solomon Tagoe of Gutten and Michael Naaba of Team Epic will be seeking to navigate the arid West African enclave in full force.
The contingent would roll off with six riders and 3 officials as requested by the Burkina organizers.
The 34th Edition of this Tour is paramount for every participating country since it is ranking event. Again, it is a huge preparatory grounds for adequate fitness and power ahead of the upcoming Africa Games next year in Ghana.
It encompasses 10 stages with excruciating. with an overall distance of 1207.8 kilometres to battle over seven regions in Burkina Faso.The first stage which begins from Ouaga to Po will be a heated 144km road clearance.
Stage three will be a circuit – Ouaga to Ouaga with a distance of 144km.
The fourth stage will be the usual heated, gruelling Road Race from Ouaga to Koupela in 136.8km.
Tenkodougo to Zorgho will sweep off the fifth stage with a short threshold power ride of 75.4km and quickly to be followed the next day , stage six with a 107.6km assignment from Ouaga to Koudougou.
The riders would depart Koudougou to the flat Road hot asphalt driveway of Boromo in 156km.
Stage 8 will be a beautiful criterium inside the favourite arena of Bobodioulasso covering a distance of 120km.
The penultimate stage gets into one of the hottest terrains from Bobodioulasso to Pa in 126.7 km.
The final stage will be a final hurdle Road finish from Sapone into the capital Ouaga in 112.1km.
11 countries have already confirmed their participation in the prestigious event including Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Algeria, Belgium and South Africa.
France, Germany, Egypt and Senegal will be absent this time round.
Ghana has had multiple appearances at this UCI sanctioned event with the likes of late Samuel Anim, Aminu Osman Mohammed, Anthony Boakye, Abdul Razak Abdul Mumin, Abdul Razak Umar, Godwin Dzeha, and Gabriel Tettey all experiencing the “heat” in the Tour.
In 2010, Ghana tasted the heated west African competition that saw Henry Tetteh Djangmah,Aminu Osman, Nuru Pardie Alhassan,William Nartey and Philip Randolf representing the Nation.
In 2011, Ghana again represented with a close shave squad of Aminu Osman, Joseph Kudakpor, Samuel Anim, Emmanuel Obour and Henry Tetteh Djangmah.
In recent times, precisely in 2019, Derbywheel yellow jersey holder at the just ended National Tour Du Faso Solomon Tagoe featured at the Tour Du Faso in the Youth category with some impressive cycling display.
The Golden Pedals squad comprising Ebenezer Frank Tetteh Quaye, Foster Doevi, Emmanuel Sesi, Emmanuel Shammah, Michael Naaba are all new “candidates” into the hottest race in west Africa and would surely get “baptized” in the 10-day exercise.
Burkina Faso have had an astonishing record in this competition winning the maijeux jeune 15 times.
It would be recalled in 1988, Burkinabe sprinter Madi Kadore won the Tour Du Faso, Maxime Ouedrago in 89, Aime Zongo in 1990.
Burkina again won the maijeux jeune in 1991, 1993,1994 and 1995 with Saidou Raoumba, Maurice Sawadogo, Karinm Yameogo and Ernest Sorgho respectively.
Ernest Sorgho won again in 1997 with “Sefa Peugeot ‘s” Abdul Wahab Sawadogo winning the maijeux jeune in 2004.
In 2011, Hamidou Zidweiba won the Tour and an impressive win by Burkina Faso ‘s talisman Rasmane Ouedrago in 2012.
Harouna Ilboudou added his name to the list by winning the Tour Du Faso in 2016 with Wendkoni Songho closing the chapter of laurels in 2018.
The Golden Pedals would be departing the country on the 23rd of October, get a rest day and bounce into action on the 26th.
Over 80 riders would be in action for the ultimate Leaders Jersey as the host Nation, Burkina Faso would be seeking to draw in the lost confidence towards their performance over the years.
Quality commentary and updates on the Tour will be live on the Ghana Cycling Federation Facebook portal.
Credit: Dennis Kweku Moore
Senior Cycling correspondent/ Writer/