Already in the past season 2016 Mengis worn the BIKE AID jersey and could gain some first experiences riding in Europe. But first the talented climber had to get used to all the environment in Europe and then problems with authorities to get the suitable visa made 2016 a bit difficult for him. But for 2017 „Emma“ has set himself high goals and tells us a little more how he want to achieve them.
BIKE AID: Emma, after one year with an European team now and the experience you gained, please tell us a little more about your impressions you gained last year.
Amanuel Mengis: "Oh, there are so many things that I have experienced throughout the whole last year, so where to begin. Well, I am still a very young guy and I was never away from home for a long time that honestly my stay in Europe – even if it was not as long as we all scheduled – was a bit like a challenge for me. Germany is very different to my country Eritrea, but most of all it was very cold in the beginning of the year when I first came to Europe. So I really had to suffer with that and get used to this climate, and I don't know how you all can handle this (laughing)."
you said your stay was shorter than scheduled. What exactly do you mean?
"The initial plan was to stay during the whole season in Germany with the team. But unfortunately the authorities do not really support that and I just got a 90 day visa what makes it very difficult to have the suitable time in Germany to finally benefit from all the knowledge there. In general it is so difficult for us Eritrean's to get the suitable visa to make progress in our sport."
are there still moments you remind in a positive way?
"yes, sure. Many of them! It was a great experience for me throughout the whole year when I was with the team. Also how the whole team welcomed me – I felt like I came to a „new familiy“ where everybody was there for me and took care; i really felt comfortable. The races were challenging and it was a big honour for me to race at this high level with all these guys like Cancellara or Tony Martin. But now in 2017 I also want to show that there is a reason why I am in this team".
what exactly are your goals?
"Well, I could already show in the past that, when I get the right training, I can deliver a strong performance in the climbs. Now that I could get used to the different speed in these Pro-races, I want to show all my talent and want to take the next step in my development. But in general I want to bring in my part to the team that we can have even more success than we already had in 2016 and that is what I am looking forward to".
Thanks a lot Emma for your words and we wish you all the best for the new season!