The highly awaited roadmap of the 2018 Tour du Rwanda will be unveiled today by Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy), at Classic Hotel in Kicukiro.
The 10th edition of the annual UCI Africa Tour race is scheduled for August 5-12.
This year’s event will take place three months earlier compared to the previous editions’ calendar, which normally used to be held in November.
According to Ferwacy, the change was made in order allow ample preparation time and transition ahead of next year’s edition in which the tour is scheduled to be upgraded from 2.2 to 2.1 road race category of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Africa Tour.
In April 2017, Ferwacy announced Tour du Rwanda would be upgraded effective 2019, making it Africa’s only second cycling event with the 2.1 UCI race badge alongside Gabon’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo – which was won by Rwanda’s Joseph Areruya this year.
However, according to Bayingana, the long-term plan is to turn Tour du Rwanda into Africa’s best and biggest race by 2020 and, progressively one of the best in the world.
The inaugural edition of 2.1 Tour du Rwanda is slated for March 2019.
According to UCI regulations, for a road race to be considered a 2.1 race category, it has to attract many UCI World Tour Teams and UCI professional continental teams, as well as UCI continental and national teams.
“This year’s edition is not only about bidding farewell to the 2.2 race category but also celebrating 10 years since Tour du Rwanda became part of the UCI Africa Tour,” Jacques Furaha, the communications manager of Tour du Rwanda told Times Sport on Tuesday.
“It’s in that regard that this year’s edition has been organized in a special way, details will be revealed in the press conference on Wednesday (today). There will be new routes and new teams among other things that will be part of the ten-year jubilee,” he further added.
Tour du Rwanda was established in 1988 but it was not until 2009 that it was accommodated to be part of UCI Africa Tour. Ever since, the sport has drastically grown to become the country’s biggest and most famous sport event of the year.