This is the first time Ghana’s duo John Zormelo and Joseph Kudakpo are participating in this tour and they have already left an indelible mark for Ghana. The race wheeled off from Boromo at exactly 10pm and ended in the city of Oauga around 2.30pm the next day.
Sixteen riders in all took part in the tour with two representing each country; Ghana, Togo, Mali, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso (with three teams).
The first 40km of the race was a bit friendly with no indication of any attack from any cyclist. It was a constituent warm up ride with occasional caution from the riders. The cyclists had torch lamps in front of their bicycles firmly tied with cello-tapes that was not the main business. It was the duty of every serious rider on that occasion to keep absolute focus on the embracing darkness.
The Burkinabes who had won the maiden edition last year did not give any dogs chance to any cyclist to at least give them a run for thier money. At 200km, the hidden intentions of the prospective serious candidates began to manifest.It was Abdul Wahab Sawadogo who broke off with a friendly attack to the far right of the road and gave a body indication to his colleage Rasmane Oudrago to follow suit. But the quick mental ideas of the Ghanaianas drew them back to the peloton as Joseph Kudapko forced his way through to the thin bunch. One amazing senario was that, no cyclist showed any sign of weariness.why? The prize at stake was luring;
2 million CFA.
At 350 km still in the darkness, the confidence of the Ghanaians soared because according to the rules any cyclist to cross that distance had already bagged a cool 50,000 CFA. Zormelo’s riding skills became more insatiable as he began to release some intermittent strikes which clearly baffled the Burkinabes because to their rhythm and scripts, the Ghanaian ought to have been tied at that distance.
The night of strenuous and eerie riding ate into the early hours of the next day at 400km and at this stage; a positive cycling enthusiast will agree with me that cycling is indisputably the difficult sport on the planet.
It was then 100km to finish deep into the awakening arms of Ouagadougou. The chant,the awe,the joy and the passion of the sport grew into greater proportions because two Burkinabe sprint gems -Seidu Tall and Abdul Wahab Rasmane had already broken away from the second bunch with a pricy time of 2mins 09secs with Ivorian baby face assasin Bashiru Konte following suit with a more stiffer opposition.
The second bunch comprised of two Burkinabes and the pharoah-hearted Ghanaian John Zormelo. By this time, the finishing distance had narrowed so early to 40km. The Burkinabes realising the fearless moves from the Ghanaian began to intimidate him - very characterristics of them.But the diminutive veteran, who by then had been sandwiched between these Burkinabes had managed to gain an unbelievable focus, chasing up any impulse attacks from Sawadogo, but the latter leapt away in a cheap fashion because Zormelo had to contain two materials at that particular moment-which was virtually impossible.
At 15km to finish, Zormelo had his back tyre deflated and before he could change it, time had already ticked. And this was where he won the “Maillot Plus Grandremotte”, a super revival of strength and endurance. Defying the risks of oncoming vehicles,the veteran young stars pedalists meandered his way through the cars with slides and grim and soon he was part of the insolent peloton.
5kms to finish and it was the Burkinabees who had already secured the first five spots with the confident Ghanaian coming through to 6th position with a prize of 300,000 CFA.
It is worth noting that the Tour of Impossible which covered a distance of 504km is the only of its kind in the world and this is the first time Ghana is participating. It is therefore an unthinkable spectacle for a Ghanaian who many thought had dipped in form to give the Burkinabe’s this anniversary surprise.
Ghana won 3 trophies and 2 Jerseys-Maillot for Endurance and the Best Invited Cyclist, an achievement which will be on the lips of many Ghanaians for long.
As reported by;
Director of Communications - GCA
From Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
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