Amanuel Gebrezgabihier / Tsgabu Grmay

The race covers a distance of 3,272 km from 24 Aug to 15 Sep. The cyclists have covered almost half of it already – that is in nine stages.  Amanuel (Eritrean) and Tsgabu (Ethiopian) are still standing and actually, doing very well.  As it stands, Amanuel is 37th in the general classification ranking, and Tsgabu is 48th out of 166 riders.

The stage-by-stage comparison of the two cyclists is very interesting.  Their achievements to date are comparable, as if they are racing against each other within the bigger race.

Of course, cycling races, especially Grand Tours such as this, the team members are obliged to stick to team tactics. The team director communicates tactics via radio to his team from his support car that follows his riders. Irrespective of team tactic, Amanuel and Tsgabu are racing as if there is no tomorrow. Look at their individual standings in each stage …


Vuelta a España (166 riders)

Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier

Tsgabu Grmay

Stage 1



Stage 2



Stage 3



Stage 4



Stage 5



Stage 6



Stage 7



Stage 8



Stage 9




… we will follow them closely during the second half of the race.


Vuelta a España

The ‘Vuelta a España’ (Tour of Spain) is an annual multi-stage bicycle race primarily held in Spain, while also occasionally making passes through nearby countries. Inspired by the success of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, the race was first organized in 1935.

Along with the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta makes up cycling's prestigious 3rd Grand Tour. The Vuelta a España consist of 21 day-long stages over a 23-day period that includes 2 rest days which covers and the finish is in the Spanish capital Madrid.  In this year’s race the cyclists will cover 3,272 Km – from 24 Aug to 15 Sep.  BTW, it is very rare to find a cyclist who can take part all three major races in a year.

The Vuelta should be of some interest to Ethiopians and Eritreans because both countries are represented by two excellent international cyclists this year - Tsgabu Grmay and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier respectively. The race announcers have said that Ghebreigzabhier is the most difficult name to pronounce in this year's tournmament.

It is a prestige for Tsgabu and Amanuel to be selected (from within their respective teams) to take part in this Tour of Spain. They are almost halfway through the race and they are doing very well.

Amanuel Gebrezgabihier

Amanuel Gebrezgabihier

Amanuel Gebrezgabihier is an Eritrean cyclist, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Dimension Data. It is to be remembered that in August 2018, he was named in the startlist for the 2018 Vuelta a España; and he came out 37th in the final general classification (out of 155 cyclists who managed to finish the complete course). He had another Eritrean in the same team last year whose name is Merhawi Kudus who was ranked 31st in the same tournament.  Last year Merhawi left Team Dimension Data to join Team Astana.  This year Merhawi has not been selected to represent Astana in La Vuelta.  But it is important to mention the mercurial Merhawi, apart from Daniel Teklehaimanot, is the only one, among Eritrean international cyclists, who took part in the three major European tournaments since 2014.

Amanuel is yet another excellent cyclist our continent has produced; he enjoyed his first pro season with Dimension Data in 2018, and what a debut pro season it was! The young Eritrean, who also has a knack for drawing, won the African Continental Road Race Championship and as mentioned above he supremely shined in his Grand Tour debut at La Vuelta. While he might have the hardest surname in the peloton, he makes riding the bike up Balcón de Bizkaia, the toughest up-hill climb, look easy.

Amanuel Gebrezgabihier

Amanuel was born on 17 August 1994 (age 25 years), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His team - Dimension Data, a South African team - is composed of 27 top notch cyclists. There are world renowned cyclists in its rota - the likes of Mark Cavendish (British), Boasson Hagen (Norwegian) who won numerous trophies in their golden careers. During major races the team selects 8 members to take part in the tournament. Therefore, this year Amanuel has been selected to be one of the eight cyclists to represent Dimension Data in La Vuelta 2019.

Amanuel, last May, was also named in the start-list for the 2019 Giro d'Italia. He finished 53rd (out of 142 competitors who finished). This summer he is doing well in La Vuelta a España.  He is currently, after 9 races, in 48th position (out of 166 cyclists) in the General Classification Ranking. But he has an ardent competitor from Ethiopia by the name of Tsgabu Grmay.

Tsgabu Grmay

Tsgabu belongs to Team Mitchelton–Scott, a 25-man strong team based in Australia. The team is launched in January 2011, it competes at UCI World Team level. The two renowned British twins, Adam and Simon Yates, are members of the team. 

Tsgabu, who turned pro with MTN-Qhubeka in 2013, rode his first Tour de France in 2016 while with Lampre-Merida, having already ridden the previous season's Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, and went on to ride his second Tour de France for Bahrain-Merida last year, finishing 73rd. That is quite an accomplishment! 

Tsgabu Grmay

"Back in 2010 and 2011, when I said that my dream was to ride the Tour de France one day, people laughed at me and said it was impossible. But after six years I made it," Grmay said in a Mitchelton-Scott press release.

 "Now I believe it's possible that I can win a stage at the Tour de France. That's my dream, and every morning I wake up and that is my goal, and my life, and one day I will definitely do it" he said. "It will be hard, but it was hard to be the first Ethiopian to make the WorldTour and race the Tour de France, so why not?" Well, Tsgabu has an opportunity at his disposal to win a stage in this race – La Vuelta.  That would mean a great deal for his career.

Grmay said that he's very happy that he joined Team Mitchelton-Scott.

Head sports director Matt White confirmed that Grmay's main role will be to help the team's leaders at the Grand Tours, especially at mountainous terrains.

"Tsgabu has an interesting story," White said. "He hasn't had the normal development through cycling that most of our guys have had, but he is quite an experienced campaigner. He started his career with what was MTN-Qhubeka [now Dimension Data], and he has had a couple of different teams during the last few years.

"He is a little fighter, and he's a solid little climber. He's only 27, but he's a very versatile guy. He time trials well, he climbs well, and he is another guy that we're going to use to back up our leaders in a lot of the 'climber races' throughout the season."

We wish both cyclists well!