Now Reading
2024 UCI World Tour: Louis Meintjes, Henok Mulubrhan, and Stefan De Bod Ride in the Tour de Romandie

2024 UCI World Tour: Louis Meintjes, Henok Mulubrhan, and Stefan De Bod Ride in the Tour de Romandie

The UCI World Tour is a series of races that include thirty-five road cycling events across the world, with the Tour de Romandie the latest in the 2024 season. 

By Tuka Letura

For six days, the 2024 Tour de Romandie, a road cycling stage race held in Romandy, the French-speaking part of western Switzerland, will take place. 

It is the 77th edition of the Tour de Romandie and the 20th race of the 2024 UCI World Tour, gathering all the cantons of French-speaking Switzerland for the World Tour competition.

18 teams from the UCI World Tour, four teams from the UCI Pro Continental ranks, and the national team representing Switzerland, will race 657km across the High alpines of Switzerland.

Amongst the 23 teams contesting, three feature Africans in their riders teams. Eritrean Henok Mulubrhan is on the Astana Qazaqstan Team, while Louis Meintjes of South Africa will be riding for the UCI WorldTeam Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux. Fellow South African, Stefan de Bod will do the same for EF Education EasyPost.

Henok Mulubrhan 

Henok Mulubrhan, born on November 11, 1999, in Asmara, Eritrea, is a prominent cyclist currently riding for the UCI WorldTeam Astana Qazaqstan Team. Originally starting with mountain biking in his hometown, he transitioned to road cycling and began competing in 2014.

In 2016, Henok represented Eritrea at the UCI World Junior Championships held in Doha. Subsequently, in 2018, he finished top 10 in every stage of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2018, and was crowned Eritrean national under-23 road race champion. This was followed by a victory in the Tour de l’Espoir and a national under-23 road race championship title. The 24-year-old also won the African under-23 road race championship in 2018.

In 2020, Henok joined the UCI Continental team NTT Continental Cycling Team. He later moved to the UCI ProTeam Bardiani–CSF–Faizanè, where he clinched victory in the elite road race at the African road championships. 

His success continued into the 2023 season, marked by victories at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and the Tour du Rwanda. He also made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, earning the combativity award on stage 7. In August 2023, it was announced that he would join the prestigious UCI WorldTeam Astana Qazaqstan Team for the 2024 season. 

2024 UCI World Tour: Louis Meintjes, Henok Mulubrhan, and Stefan De Bod Ride in the Tour de Romandie | Afrocritik
Henok Mulubrhan of Eritrea at Tour de Romandie

Henok is yet to record a personal victory this season for Astana Qazaqstan and this tour presents itself as the perfect opportunity.

Louis Meintjes 

Louis Meintjes is a professional road cyclist renowned for his climbing prowess and resilience in stage races. Meintjes’ journey into professional cycling began with amateur teams UC Seraing Crabbé Performance in 2011 and Lotto–Belisol U23 in 2012. It was clear that he was a huge prospect, and by 2013, he had joined the professional ranks with MTN–Qhubeka, a UCI WorldTeam based in South Africa, where he secured a silver medal in the under-23 road race at the UCI Road World Championships.

The following year, Meintjes claimed the South African National Road Race Championships. His first grand tour came in 2014 with the Vuelta a España, where he impressed with a 5th-place finish on stage 14. Going even further to 2015, he won the final stage of the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali in Italy, becoming the first-ever and only African to have won the title. 

Meintjes’ career took a significant turn when he signed with Lampre–Merida in 2016. That year, he finished 8th overall in the Tour de France and secured 2nd place in the young rider classification. For the second consecutive year, he finished 8th overall in the Tour de France in 2017.

After a stint with Team Dimension Data from 2018 to 2020, Meintjes joined Intermarché–Wanty in 2021. 

Louis Meintjes | Afrocritik
Louis Meintjes |

A 6th place finish in the 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné, an eight-day cycling road race held in the Dauphiné region of France, his best result in a stage race in five years, marked his resurgence.

On Bastille Day 2022, Meintjes’ Tour de France run saw a peak when he won the 12th stage at L’Alpe d’Huez. However, in 2023, his Tour de France campaign ended prematurely due to a crash. 

Despite this setback, Meintjes continued to show his never-give-up spirit by winning this season’s stage 4 of the Tour of the Basque Country earlier in April 2024.

Stefan de Bod 

Stefan de Bod, born in Western Cape, South Africa, is a professional road cyclist who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam EF Education–EasyPost. The 28-year-old has been actively competing for over 10 years, with his most notable victory coming at the Africa Youth Games in 2014, where he finished with gold in the First Team time trial for South Africa. 

His career highlights include winning the National Time Trial Championships in 2022 and various other national and international competitions throughout his career. Before joining his current team, he rode for Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Team Dimension Data, and Astana–Premier Tech. 

See Also
Will Finidi George Usher in a New Era for Nigeria’s Super Eagles? | Afrocritik

Stefan De Bod of South Africa at Tour de Romandie | Afrocritik
Stefan De Bod of South Africa at Tour de Romandie

De Bod has also competed in grand tours, participating in the 2020 Vuelta a España where he finished 94th. He was also at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, finishing 14th in the Men’s Individual Time Trial. 

He joined EF Education-EasyPost in 2022, and since then he has managed a commendable fourth place overall in both the Sibiu Cycling Tour and the Okolo Slovenska. He also holds the national title at the South African Time Trial National Road Championships in 2023.

Tour de Romandie Route and Stage Details 

April 23: Prologue in Payerne, 2.28 km

April 24: Stage 1 from Château d’Oex to Fribourg, 165.7 km

April 25: Stage 2 from Fribourg to Salvan/Les Marécottes, 171 km

April 26: Stage 3 from Oron to Oron, 15.5 km

April 27: Stage 4 from Saillon to Leysin, 151.7 km

April 28: Stage 5 from Vernier to Vernier, 150.8 km

Eschborn–Frankfurt is the next tour for riders. It’s the 21st of the season and it will begin on the 1st of May 2024.

Tuka Letura is an experienced sports writer with over five years of experience in the craft. He uses data and statistics to provide analysis and commentary. From regional to worldwide competitions, he has covered a wide range of sports-related events and topics. He is devoted to sharing his enthusiasm for sports with his audience and engaging them with interesting anecdotes and viewpoints.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top