The five-day National Tour Du Ghana 2023 coveted Leader's Jersey sponsored by Pro Keiren powerhouse, Derbywheel was won by Quickstep young roller, Solomon Tagoe.
The final criterium was a heated 10-lap assignment covering a distance of 89km.
Over 60 riders started the Ablekuma event with one thing in mind, to win the ultimate jersey and the subsequent prize money of Gh5000 at stake. Prince Tetteh was very optimistic about maintaining the jersey, hence.
The third lap developed into some lazy attacks on the Pokuase direction until the bend would slow down the humming peloton. No rider allowed his colleague to attack.
The Yellow jersey holder Prince Tetteh was firmly gripped into the middle peloton, seeming to protect his attire. The likes of Isaac Sackey, Joseph Nii Quaye, Maxwell Doku and Michael Naaba were all potential breakaway candidates until the unbelievable happened.
The bunch behaved in such a way that the least expected riders would rather break away. And that was the very sight that saw Victor Cudjoe and Osabutey break off in a flashing manner into the fifth stage.
Five more laps to go and the lengthy bunch had been torn apart by the breakaway duo of Victor Cudjoe and Ebenezer Osabutey of Team Epic. And the relay work between the two is tactically delicious.
It began to drizzle in droplets. But that would not scare the consistency of the breakaway duo. They had maintained a steady cadence output and the communication between the two was exceptional. They knew they had to work together. The distance between the breakaway riders and the entire bunch had expanded to 1min 20sec.
The ambience around the finish area always erupted anytime they cruised past the finish line, and when the whiteboard read 3 laps more, the bunch was still trailing Victor Cudjoe and Ebenezer Osabutey of Team Epic. Incredible!
Prince Tetteh, who was supposed to be upfront to be able to effect action on his time, was astonishingly domiciled in the struggling peloton. His yellow jersey needed a lifeline support at this stage.
Perhaps, the Derbywheel Yellow jersey holder was totally oblivious of the fact that his time was hanging on a thin tread. Fellow Quickstep compatriot Solomon Tagoe was closely monitoring the situation. His work rate inside the bunch is simply phenomenal.
A lap more to go and it was obvious one of the two breakaway riders was inevitably going to win this particular stage. And lo and behold the Gutten star, carefully rode in tandem with his colleague, and with a few metres to cross the finish line, he flung his hands on the fatigued shoulders of his colleague Ebenezer Osabutey of Team Epic and finished off in a time of 2hrs 16min 53secs.
Cudjoe had swept the stage win in style and now all the attention would be on whether he would sweep the Yellow jersey or otherwise.
After the entire bunch followed suit, it had been established that the hardworking Quickstep roller Solomon Tagoe had incredibly taken over the Derbywheel flagship Leader's Jersey.
The best fighter or combativity Jersey going for Victor Cudjoe. The Gutten fighter had also swept the Green Jersey signifying the best by Points.
Prince Quaye wore the White Jersey to maintain the best youngest by time.
Inarguably, the best team was awarded to Quickstep, who in any estimation had a fantastic outing in this year's National Tour Du Ghana.
A swift announcement flung through the crowd. And that was when the entire Team of Gutten sprang in ecstasy on hearing the newly crowned Yellow jersey holder Solomon Tagoe had secured a slot and all paid up expenses to participate in the Derbywheel Pro Keiren competition in the United Kingdom later this year.
In the Women and Youth Category, the overall Stage winner went to Reginald Hammond with the overall best by Time going to Farrakhan Shaaban Mohammed of River Park Accra who is quickly establishing himself as a potential replacement for his dad Shaaban Mohammed's exploits in the game.
Massive credit goes to Derbywheel Pro Keiren for injecting the needed adrenaline into the riders to believe in the hope and pride that Derbywheel seeks to bring into the Sport.
Solomon Tagoe's trip to the UK and his subsequent interaction with the Derbywheel initiative stand tall in the annals of Ghana Cycling and Africa as a whole.