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Wellens rejects inhaler use, British Cycling on Froome leak: Daily News Digest
The Israel Cycling Academy team has announced a new signing, revealing that the Eritrean refugee Awet Gebremedhin will race with the team until the end of 2019. “I still cannot believe it,” the climber said. “I waited for this opportunity almost all my life and there were moments of darkness and despair when I almost lost any hope that this miracle could actually happen. But now, everything that I had to go through all seems worth it.”
The 25-year-old competitor is the team’s first East African rider. He began cycling at 11 years of age. “It was 15 kilometres to school when I moved from grammar school. [My dad] decided it was worth it to invest his very little money in buying me a used bike so I could get back quickly and work in the farm.”
Team founder and co-owner Ron Baron said the signing epitomises the aim of the team. “This is really all that ICA is about. Here is a rider who deserves an opportunity to fulfil the dreams that seemed almost lost. That’s why for us it’s an exciting moment. We feel privileged to give Awet this chance and confident that he will show the world of cycling his unique qualities.”
Gebremedhin raced with the Eritrean national team and raced in Italy in 2011 and 2013. He decided not to return after the latter trip, and went to Sweden where he applied for asylum. After confining himself to a friend’s home for 18 months, he was finally declared a legal refugee in November 2015.
He was then able to leave the house and worked hard. “For three months, I collected empty beer bottles and sold them. Eventually I had enough to buy a bike, shoes, and a helmet, and I could go out training again,” he said. “I would train for hours and hours to get back in shape.”