Team Rwanda cycling trainer Jonathan Boyer has revealed that his side is benefitting from the presence of Eritrea and Ethiopia cycling teams currently camping at the Africa Rising Cycling Centre in Musanze ahead of the Tour du Rwanda set for November 16-23.
Built to unify African countries through the sport of cycling, the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC) has a target to field the first professional all-black African tour team to race at the highest levels in Europe culminating in the prestigious Tour de France.
The arrival of Eritrea and Ethiopia three weeks before the Tour du Rwanda will also help improve local cyclists as they prepare for the international event.
In an exclusive interview with Times Sport, Boyer said Eritrea and Ethiopia are significantly strong teams with Eritrea having won the Tour of Rwanda before, something he hopes will rub off Team Rwanda riders.
“They have 60 years of experience which is a lot compared to Rwanda. Our riders will benefit from training with such elite riders,” Boyer said.
The American also said the Cycling Center is testament of what a small country with limited means can do if they work together.
According to Kimberly Coats, the Director of Marketing and Logistics at Team Rwanda Cycling (TRC), this is a dream come true.
She said: “Eritrea and Ethiopia have very talented athletes but the lack of funds has limited them sometimes. So we need to work together to promote African cycling.”
Coats revealed that TRC negotiated a deal with Turkish Airlines to fly in the Eritrean team for the Tour of Rwanda and a permanent deal to become the official airline of the Eritrean cycling team is being negotiated.
According to Coats, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo were interested in coming to the ARCC but because of limited slots and a small technical team, it was not possible.