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MTN-Qhubeka rider racially abused

Natnael Berhane was racially abused by a Belarusian rider during the Tour of Austria race.

MTN-Qhubeka’s Eritrean rider Natnael Berhane was racially abused by Belarusian rider Branislau Samoilau. Picture: teammtnqhubeka.com

CAPE TOWN - MTN-Qhubeka, the first African team to ride at the Tour de France, is satisfied with the procedure and steps taken to deal with an alleged incident of racism against one of its riders during a race in Austria on Thursday.

The team's Eritrean rider, Natnael Berhane is alleged to have been racially abuse by Branislau Samoilau, a Belarusian who rides for the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team, during stage four of the Tour of Austria.

MTN-Qhubeka subsequently wrote a letter to the UCI, the sport's governing body to express their outrage and dissatisfaction at the incident.

Team principal, Douglas Ryder says what happened was unfortunate.

"Yesterday, unfortunately there was an incident where Natnael Berhane, one of our Eritrean riders was racing in the tour of Austria and he raced really, really well.

"He went to fourth overall in the race and there was a Belarusian rider from the CCC Polkowice team and they said something racist to him in the race, but it was dealt with by the organisers of the race and by the governing body of world cycling and the rider was removed from the race."

For more coverage on the event visit the Eyewitness News Tour de France 2015 portal.

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