Ghana’s Cycling team, the Golden Pedals put up splendid cycling skills, speed, strength and stamina to emerged the overall winners in the 29th edition of the ‘Tour De La Lest’ International Competition which ended in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire on Friday.
The Golden pedals made history in when a Ghanaian win the yellow jersey for the first time in international competition which began in 1986.
Anthony Boakye from the River Park cycling club, who played a major role in Ghana’s success, made an overall time of 18h 49’38 ahead of Ivorian Kabre Daniel’s 18h51’00’, who was holding the ultimate yellow jersey from day one of the competition. For the first time in Ghana’s cycling history.
The 22 year old Boakye snatched the yellow Jersey from Kabre after the total times made since the beginning of the competition put together to cover a distance of 766.8km.
Boakye led the Ghanaian team to make a time difference of 1m 22s to place first. He also won the best young cyclist with a time of 18h 49’38’ followed by Ivorian Kabre with Ghanaian duo of Kusi Clement and Awuku Frank following in that order.
The Golden Pedals, comprising Abdulmumin Rahman (Captain), Anthony Boakye, Awuku Frank, Kusi Clement Abdul Rahman and Umar Abdul Razak maintained their confidence, comradeship and co-operation to become the general best team in the seven-day event.
The proud Ghanaians returned home with six trophies plus 718, 000 Francs (ghc 5,385,000) for winning the ultimate, the best team classification and the best young cyclist.
An excited Boakye in an interview said the team was committed to achieving the ultimate, adding that, despite the financial problems faced by the team, they were committed to winning.
He appealed to the government to support the least financed sports, including cycling, to thrive in the country and to make a make at International competitions.
The team is expected to arrive on Saturday, July 22.They are scheduled to meet the Sports Minister and the media to show what they achieved for the nation.
Technical Director, Saahnon Mohammed believes if the cyclist are given more exposure by competing in other international tours, they can improve and make name for themselves and the nation.
Teye Doku, an Executive of the Ghana Cycling Federation commended the cyclists for their efforts as some fell from their bikes doing the tour and had to receive medical attention, and strived on to win the competition.
Story by Sammy Heywook Okine