In 2015, Daniel Teklehaimanot and fellow Eritrean Merhawi Kudus rode and finished the Tour de France, becoming the first black African riders to finish the race. In addition, Teklehaimanot also wore the polka dot jersey during the race.
King of the Mountains is a documentary which tells the story of Eritrean cycling and the rise of Teklehaimanot.
Bike racing began in the country of five million people in 1932 during the Italian occupation with bikes being introduced by Italian soldiers.
Eritrean riders competed internationally for Ethiopia prior to independence and amongst those featured in the documentary are Yemeane Negasi who competed in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics and Misghina Haile, the Secretary of the National Cycling Federation.
The documentary also includes footage from the Eritrean National Championships, where Teklehaimanot has won the road race three times and the time trial four times.
The documentary from Sinamatella Productions is written by James Walsh and Angus Powers, and directed and produced by Walsh.
King of the Mountains – SW from Sinamatella Productions on Vimeo.