Photo: Ilario Biondi/SCA/Cor Vos © 2023
Natnael Tesfatsion has been riding in the Trek-Segafredo shirt since this season. The 24-year-old Eritrean is considered a talented rider and has already achieved some great results. Last year, for example, he won the Queen stage in the Adriatico Ionica Race by beating the Italian champion Filippo Zana on a tough final climb. A few days earlier, the roles had been reversed in the Giro dell'Appennino.
After he had to give up in the Giro due to illness, the African ventures into the Dauphiné for the first time. In the second stage, with a slightly uphill finish in La Chaise-Dieu, he sprinted to a surprising third place, behind winner Julian Alaphilippe and Olympic champion Richard Carapaz. That is also his first podium in a WorldTour race. Tesfatsion was even faster than classification leader and winner of the opening stage, Christophe Laporte!
“I felt really good today,” Tesfatsion told Cycling Pro Net afterwards, in his best English . “I didn't want to take a lot of risks for the sprint, but in the end I asked my teammate if he could do a lead-out. I saw that the other riders were tired.”
Tesfatsion himself is a bit surprised about his first podium in the World Tour. “It went up and down all day and the finish was also uphill, so the sprinters couldn't participate. Alaphilippe went really fast in the sprint. This is a good result for me. When I feel good I don't worry about anything. Then I participate in every field. I believe in myself."