Tour de France cycling continues


This video shows Eritrean cyclist Daniel Teklehaymanot at the time trial in Utrecht, the start of this year’s Tour De France cycling race.

Meanwhile, Daniel Teklehaymanot has the king of the mountains polkadot jersey.

He kept it today, after the eighth stage.

This video from the 2012 London Olympics shows Daniel Teklehaymanot and his Eritrean supporters.

Daniel Teklehaymanot and his Eritrean supporters

Eritrean TV does not have direct on the spot reports from the Tour de France, only one hour summaries in the evening. However, cinemas in Eritrea have satellite direct Tour reports.

Daniel Teklehaimanot gets another Tour de France king of the mountains point


This video says about itself:

Daniel Teklehaimanot Wins Polka Dot Jersey at Tour de France

9 July 2015

Eritrean rider Daniel Teklehaimanot today re-writes the history of cycling at the Tour de France once and for all. From being the first black African to compete at the Tour to the first African to wear a jersey as he takes the King of the Mountain title at the Stage 6.

Eritrean cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot was first on the hilltop of the Côte de Canapville in the seventh stage of the Tour de France race today. That meant one more point for his king of the mountains polkadot jersey.

There is much enthusiasm in Eritrea about this.

Eritrean sports journalist Habtom Yohannis tells that when Eritrea was still an Italian colony, there was a race with Italian and Eritrean participants. An Eritrean won, making dictator Mussolini angry.

Daniel Teklehaimanot, first African Tour de France king of the mountains


This is a 23 June 2015 Eritrean TV video about the Eritrean cyclists Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot now riding in the Tour de France in a South African team.

Zdenek Stybar from the Czech republic today in Le Havre won the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race. Not often before a Czech cyclist had managed this.

There happened more. Tony Martin from Germany, in the same team as Stybar, and in the overall leader’s yellow jersey, fell not far from the finish line and is injured. UPDATE: Tony Martin will not start tomorrow.

A first in this stage: Daniel Teklehaimanot from Eritrea finished first on three hilltops today. That meant he now has the right to wear the king of the mountains white and red polkadot shirt. Daniel Teklehaimanot is the first Eritrean cyclist ever, and the first African cyclist ever, to wear this shirt.

Tour de France started, time trial in Utrecht


This video was made in the Kruisstraat in the center of Utrecht city in the Netherlands this afternoon.

The first stage of this year’s Tour de France cycling race, a time trial, passed there.

The supporters of Dutch participant Laurens ten Dam had gathered. When the cyclist passed they loudly chanted his name and cheered.

Laurens ten Dam did not win the time trial. Australian Rohan Dennis won. Ten Dam is not a time trial specialist, but a mountain climbing specialist. He finished #91 of 198 riders. However, last year he was #9 overall in the Tour.

At #146 came another mountain stage specialist: Daniel Teklehaimanot. He started at 2pm as the first one of all riders. He is one of the first two cyclists ever from Eritrea participating in the Tour de France. Merhawi Kudus is the other Eritrean. They both ride in the first African (South African) team ever in the Tour. Like Ten Dam, they will probably get better results in later, steeper stages than on this first day.

This 27 June 2015 video is called Eritrean ERi-TV Tour de France interview Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus.

Eritrean elephant mystery in ancient Gaza battle solved


This video is called The Elephant Documentary.

From LiveScience:

Elephant Mystery at Ancient Syrian Battle Solved

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer

January 21, 2014 08:01am ET

The mystery of an ancient battle between two warring troops of elephants has been solved, thanks to a modern genetic analysis of the lumbering beasts.

Researchers have now found that Eritrean elephants, which live in the northeastern portion of Africa, are savanna elephants, and are not related to the more diminutive forest elephants that live in the jungles of central Africa.

That, in turn, discounts an ancient Greek account of how a battle between two warring empires played out, with one side’s elephants refusing to fight and running away, the scientists report in the January issue of the Journal of Heredity. [10 Epic Battles That Changed the Course of History]

Ancient battle

In the third century B.C., the Greek historian Polybius described the epic Battle of Raphia, which took place around 217 B.C. in what is now the Gaza Strip, as part of the Syrian Wars. During these wars, Seleucid ruler Antiochus III the Great fought against  Ptolemy IV Philopator, the fourth ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, whose last leader was Cleopatra. The matchup included tens of thousands of troops, thousands of cavalry and dozens of war elephants on each side.

The elephants were the “ace in the hole,” able to trample the enemy and sow terror with their massive size.

“Elephants were considered the tanks of the time, until eventually the Romans figured out how to defeat war elephants,” in later times, said study co-author Alfred Roca, an animal scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Antiochus had easy access to Asian elephants from India, but Ptolemy didn’t. Instead, he set up outposts in what is now modern-day Eritrea to get African elephants.

Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t work out so well: According to Polybius’ account, the African elephants turned tail and ran when they saw how gigantic the Asian elephants were. Ptolemy, however, was able to recover due to missteps by Antiochus and eventually won the battle.

African elephants

In reality, Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants, so some historians speculated that perhaps the Ptolemies were using African forest elephants, which tend to be smaller, Roca said.

So Roca and his colleagues conducted a thorough genetic analysis of the elephants found in Eritrea, the descendants of the losers in the ancient battle.

“We showed using pretty much every genetic marker, that they were savanna elephants,” Roca told LiveScience. “This was contrary to some speculation that there may be forest elephants present in that part of the world.”

Ancient myths

The findings suggest that Polybius had it wrong, and the African elephants got spooked for some other reason than the overpowering size of the Asian elephants.

In other ancient documents, “There were these ancient semi-mythical accounts of India, and they claimed that India had the biggest elephants in the world,” Roca said.

Polybius, who wasn’t actually at the battle, likely read those accounts and surmised the Asian elephants’ bigger size caused their opponents to panic.

In fact, until about the 1700s, when scientists actually measured the two, most people still thought Asian elephants were the larger species, Roca said. (And even now, games such as Age of Empires that recreate the Battle of Raphia depict the Ptolemaic elephants as smaller.)

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