TWO riders have been drafted into Rwanda’s cycling team ‘Team Rwanda’ ahead of this month’s Tour of Gabon. The duo; Emmanuel Rudahunga and Innocent Nshimiyimana take the tally to seven riders.
The others include household names like four-time Tour of Rwanda champion Abraham Ruhumuriza, Jean de Dieu Rafiki, Uwase Nyandwi, Nathan Byukusenge and Obed Ruvogera.
The Gabon tour, also famously known as Tropical Amissa Bongo international cycling race will cover a distance of 550km from January 19 to 25.
According to Rwanda’s cycling federation technical advisor, Emmanuel Murenzi, Rudahunga and Nshimiyimana were incorporated into the team after their spirited performance in the 2009 Tour of Rwanda.
Rudahunga, who rides for Eastern Province emerged 15th while Huye’s Nshimiyimana finished 24th in the 1069km race which had attracted cyclists from Holland, France and Morocco.
“They had a good run in the 2009 Tour of Rwanda and we believe they have the nerve to push themselves at the top level,” Murenzi said.
The team, which is likely to fly out on January 17, has intensified its preparation on the 105km stretch from Kigali to Musanze.
While 2008 Tour of Rwanda champion Adrien Niyonshuti will travel to Gabon, he will ride for his South African club-MTN Energade. Before traveling to Gabon, Niyonshuti, who turned 23 on Saturday, will fly to South Africa to compete in a Mountain Bike Race.