Working towards the upcoming debut of the BEAT Road Team, we present the nine riders of the Road Team through these #RoadToBEAT stories. Because the BEAT riders are more than cyclists - they're humans, with unique stories. Daniel Abraham introduces himself here.
I was born in Eritrea and came to the Netherlands as a refugee when I was fifteen years old. I walked home that day when my neighbor told me that I was going on holiday to Europe with my parents. According to her, my parents had already left for Europe, but when I arrived at Schiphol airport, nothing turned out to be true. Eventually, I went to the police and ended up in a reception centre. I’ve now lived in the Netherlands for 17 years and I have a family. Last year, I finally got a Dutch passport and that makes me officially a Dutch man. Partly due to the sport and NLtraining, I am helped to integrate in the Netherlands. I teach other Eritreans at NLtraining.
Cycling was already a hobby of mine in Eritrea. It is a real national pastime there. In the youth category, I already was once a national champion. Because of my love for cycling, I went back on my bike and so I ended up at Marco Polo Cycling Team where I cycled up to and including 2012. Then I started a different course that I was eligible for because of an underdeveloped lower leg: the disabled sport. I am part of the Dutch Paralympic selection. In 2016 I became Para-cycling Olympic Champion in Rio de Janeiro. Although, I did not have a passport at the time, I was allowed by the UCI and IOC to participate in official competitions as a stateless citizen. I did that under the Dutch flag because I had a residence permit in the Netherlands at the time.
Last season, I showed that I have not forgot the winning yet. I won the Dutch National Time Trial Championship for elite without a contract.
After a successful season I was looking for the next step. I consider it as a great opportunity to be able to ride for BEAT coming season and to be part of a club with many members and fans. I look forward to inspiring others and achieving nice results.