• A proud and emotional achievement for Daniel Teklehaimanot (AAP) (AP)Source: AP
Daniel Teklehaimanot climbed his way into history books on Stage 6 as he became the first African rider to wear the Polka Dot jersey for the best climber at the Tour de France.
By
Cycling Central

10 Jul 2015 - 8:55 AM  UPDATED 10 Jul 2015 - 5:28 PM

In doing so, he became the third African ever to wear any of the leaders' jerseys at the Tour, including the yellow, green and white jerseys for the overall leader, the best sprinter and the best young rider respectively.

The 26-year-old from Eritrea set off in pursuit of this honour when he got into the three-rider break of the day; a break that was clear of the peloton after just five kilometres of racing. Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) were the two riders to join Teklehaimonot in the break.

There were three Category 4 climbs on the 191.5km stage to La Havre, with one point available to the first rider over the top of each climb. In each of the mountain sprints Teklehaimonot showed considerable strength and awareness to get the better of Frenchman, Quemeneur, ensuring he would be the first ever African rider to pull on the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey at the Tour de France.

@teammtnqhubeka Here he is! Africa's first ever wearer of the @letourdefrance Polka Dot jersey, Daniel Teklehaimanot! 

After Daryl Impey’s time in the yellow jersey in 2013 and Robbie Hunter wearing the white jersey in 2001, Teklehaimonot also becomes the third African rider to wear any of the Tour de France leaders' jerseys in the history of the race.

The break was eventually caught with 5km to go. Teklehaimonot’s team-mate, Edvald Boasson Hagan finished the stage in seventh position capping off a day to remember for the MTN-Qhubeka team.

“I am really happy to take the jersey. It is a big step for African cycling and I feel really proud at the moment because I have this jersey.

“I am excited to be able to show my team’s colours on the podium because we are trying to give 5000 bicycles to African students. Being on the podium will help our project and I want to help make a difference for my African people.

“It was always our plan to get this polka dot jersey so I am happy we could do it. I am proud to be African and I am proud to be Eritrean. This is a day I will never forget." - Daniel Teklehaimonot.

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