Uwizeye eyes ‘Race to Remember’ glory


Les Amis Sportifs' sprinter Jean Claude Uwizeye pedals his way to victory during the Farmers' Circuit race a fortnight ago. / Sam Ngendahimana

Race to Remember
(Ruhango & Muhanga-Karongi)

Men Elites & U23:
Ruhango-Karongi +10 laps (155.6km)
Juniors: Muhanga-Karongi+2 laps (92.5km)
Women: Muhanga-Karongi (82.7km)

After winning the ‘Farmers’ Circuit’ two weeks ago, which took him to the top of provisional rankings in the race for the 2017 Rwanda Cycling Cup, Les Amis Sportifs’ captain Jean Claude Uwizeye is now seeking to claim the ‘Race to Remember’ to boost his chances of winning this year’s title.

Saturday’s ‘Race to Remember’, the third leg of this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup, will start from Ruhango town in Southern Province for Men Elites and U-23s, while the Juniors and women competitors will set off from Muhanga in Southern Province to Karongi in Western Province.

The 23-year-old put up an eye-catching display to win the 152-kilometre ‘Farmers’ Circuit’ race that began from Kigali and ended in Nyagatare in Eastern Province, beating a strong field that included the 2015 Tour du Rwanda winner, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, who had won the first leg of the national competition in April.

Following his win a fortnight ago, Uwizeye moved to 44 points, ahead of Club Benediction de Rubavu’s quartet that includes Patrick Byukusenge (43 points), Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (41), Didier Munyaneza (37) and Nsengimana, who has 30 points.

Uwizeye’s closest teammate, Rene Jean Paul Ukiniwabo, is in the sixth place with 29 points.

“This year, the competition has intensified as we saw in the first two races that produced two different winners, which means it will require not only strengths but also technical experience to win the title at the end of the season,” said Uwizeye.

The Team Rwanda rider noted: “We (Les Amis Sportifs) want to win it this year and I hope I can win on Saturday (today) to protect our lead, our plan as a team is to take one race at a time.”

The Men Elites & U-23 categories will attract 45 riders from eight clubs, including five from newly formed Nyabihu Cycling Team, and will cover a distance of 155.6km including 10 laps of a 4.9km circuit around Karongi town.

Twenty riders will compete in the juniors’ category that will start from Muhanga covering a distance of 92.5km including two laps around Karongi town.

The women category, that has six riders, will see riders set off from Muhanga to Karongi covering a distance of 82.7km.