Tour of Rwanda preps in high gear
• Over 90 riders to take part in 8 stage race
• Major corporate companies on board
• Race will traverse 6 districts
• Canal+, Supersport, The Guardian to cover event
• Rwanda is now 7th in the UCI Africa rankings
PREPARATIONS for the prestigious Tour of Rwanda are in advanced stages, five months before the annual race paces off.
According to the chairman of Rwanda Cycling Federation and also chairman of the event’s organising committee Aimable Bayingana, this year’s event promise to be the most competitive since the race was incorporated on the UCI (International cycling Union) calendar in 2009.
“We have invited more elite teams and riders, something that will definitely increase the competitiveness of the race. And having made big progress in preparations for the event, we now want to put in more efforts to have a local rider win the event,” said Bayingana.
Since the race went international, no Rwandan has won it. Morocco’s Adil Jelloul won the race in 2009, while Daniel Teklehaimanot from Eritrea took the 2010 crown, last year; Kiel Reijnen from USA’s Team Type 1 swept the top honours.
But after tasting success in the Kwita Izina international cycling Tour, which was won by veteran rider Abraham Ruhumuriza, becoming the first Rwandan to win an international event and donning the coveted Yellow Jersey, Bayingana says there is no looking back.
Twenty-one teams that include eight professional (teams) have been invited for the race. They include Team Type 1 (USA), MTN Qhubeka (South Africa), Team Quebecor Garneau (Canada), Team Reine Blanche Rhone Alpes (France), and Team Avia Flanders (Belgium).
Others are: Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania, Uganda, while hosts Rwanda will be represented by Team Akagera and Team Karisimbi.
Corporate companies that have come on board to make a event a success include: Western Union, Skol, Bank of Kigali, Lotto, EWSA, Cogear, RDB, Inyange and Europcar among others.
The eight-day event will also be covered by leading media companies like Canal+, Supersport, BBC Africa, RFI, The Guardian, Cycling News, and Sport Brazil.
Tour of Rwanda 2012 stages
Sunday November 18th
Monday 19th November
Tuesday 20th November
Morning Kigali –Muhanga (44km)
Afternoon Muhanga-Huye (74km)
Wednesday 21st November
Thursday 22nd November
Friday 23rd November
Saturday 24th November
Sunday 25th November
Contact email: ostine.arinaitwe[at]newtimes.co.rw