Three days before the start of the 12th edition of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, next Monday, February 27th, in Moanda in the Haut-Ogooué Province, here is a quick look in the rearview mirror of the major African cycling race. Throughout the highlights of the Tropicale success story, we can now see how far we have gone through the Gabonese roads in the UCI cycling calendar.
2006 : 1st edition of the Tropical Amissa Bongo with 87 riders from 12 to 15 January 2006.
2007 : The Tropicale has now 5 stages instead of 3 in the 1st edition.
2008 : The Grand Départ leaves for the first time Libreville for the provinces, and takes place in Haut-Ogooué.
2008 : 1st time that the average time of a stage exceeds 40 km/h, between Lambaréné and Kango.
2008 : 1st confrontation against the European professional teams of the South African team MTN, ancestor of Dimension Data riding today in World Tour.
2009 : 1st victory of stage of an African rider, Jamie Bale (South Africa) in Franceville.
2010 : Year of the hand-over between the team of the Française des Jeux Team who had won the first four editions and the Europcar team that discovers Gabon that year and wins its 1st victory with Anthony Charteau.
2011 : 1st victory of an black African rider, with Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot in Lambaréné followed a few days later by his compatriot Natnael Berhane in Libreville.
2011 : Cameroon is the first foreign country to host the Tropicale for an incursion to Ebolowa.
2012 : For the first time, 90 riders are at the start. This is the record of participation until today.
2012 : Moroccan Tarik Chaoufi is the first rider of the Maghreb to win a stage in the sprint against Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Charteau.
2012 : The Trophy of the African Cyclist of the Year, is created by the organizers of the Tropicale. It rewards the victory after a vote of a jury chaired by Bernard Hinault, the rider has contributed most to making African cycling shine. The first winner is the Eritrean Natnael Berhane.
2013 : 1st time a stage crosses the threshold of 190 km, between Lambaréné and Mouila.
2014: 1st stage victory of a Rwandan rider, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana.
2014 : 1st African rider's final victory with tje Eritrean Natnael Berhane. It is imposed against the Spanish Luis Leon Sanchez with the smallest difference (1 second) never known on the Tropicale between the winner and his second in the final classification.
2014 : Record average time on the stage Owendo-Libreville in 46.79 km/h.
2014 : 1st passage from the Tropicale to Port-Gentil the economic capital of Gabon.
2015 : The race counts for the first time 8 stages after being increased to 6 in 2009 and to 7 in 2013.
2015 : The Tunisian Rafaa Chtioui is the first rider in the Maghreb to win the final standings with the biggest gap ever experienced on the Tropical, 2'07 '', between the winner and his dolphin.
2015 : The first year that the team of Jean-René Bernaudeau does not win the final classification.
2016 : For the first time a time trial (4.1 km) is scheduled around the Stade de l'Amitié in Libreville. The prologue of the 1st edition did not count for the general classification.
2016 : Moroccan Adil Jelloul is the 8th African rider to win a stage of the Tropicale.