A kind gesture from the German women’s team got the Track World Championships off to a great start.
Heartwarming news comes from the UCI World Track Championships in France. That’s where the German women’s team gifted the emerging Nigerian team with aero bars after previously noticing the riders were making do with mass-start bars, putting them at a substantial aerodynamic disadvantage.
“We saw last year at the world championships in Roubaix for the first time that they were riding with mass-start handlebars — and in Glasgow at the Nations Cup again. That’s when we thought: We have to do something about that!” Franziska Brauße, one of the German riders, told Radsport-news.com.
The German team took to the internet in search of aero bars that would work for the Nigerians’ bikes. The enterprising Germans even convinced a supplier to give them a discount by looping him into the plan. The team presented the Nigerians with the bars on Wednesday.
An Offer of Mentorship
Mieke Kröger, another rider on the German team, offered to give the young Nigerians some hard-won tips once the weekend rolls around.
“[I]f there’s still track time there and they’re interested, then I’ll go out on the track with them again and give them tips. Because especially at the standing start, some of them still start sitting down and so on,” Kröger told Randsport-news.com.
“That’s where you can maybe still give tips. But in general, we just think they’re very, very brave!”
The gesture touched the Nigerian team deeply. Yekeen Oyetayo Tawakalt, a rider for the Nigerian team, took to Instagram to thank the Germans.
“Thank you so much for today @franzibrausse and @mieke.kroeger, it really means a lot to us, words alone can’t express our gratitude to you, this is a gradual process and we thank you for trusting us and encouraging us in this process, we are rooting for you both and you really inspire us a lot,” she wrote.
The Nigerian team — composed of riders Mary Samuel, Ese Ukpeseraye, Grace Ayuba, and Oyetayo — made their World Championship debut in 2021, reports Cycling News.
At this year’s races, they’ll compete in the Team Sprint, the Elimination Race, the 500m Time Trial, and the Team Pursuit.