Rwanda step up preps for Amissa Bongo race

Six members of Team Rwanda are currently undergoing rigorous final preparations at Africa Rising Cycling Centre in Musanze District ahead of the forthcoming 12th edition of Gabon’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (L) and Rene Ukiniwabo (R) are the most experienced riders on the team. (S. Ngendahimana)
Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (L) and Rene Ukiniwabo (R) are the most experienced riders on the team. (S. Ngendahimana)

2017 Stages

Stage 1: Moanda-Akiéni (Feb. 27)

Stage 2: Leconi-Franceville (Feb. 28)

Stage 3: Mounana-Koulamoutou (Mar, 1)

Stage 4: Fougamou-Lambaréné (Mar, 2)

Stage 5: Lambaréné-Kango (Mar, 3)

Stage 6: Akanda (Cap Estérias)-Libreville (Mar, 4)

Stage 7: Owendo-Libreville (Mar, 5)

Six members of Team Rwanda are currently undergoing rigorous final preparations at Africa Rising Cycling Centre in Musanze District ahead of the forthcoming 12th edition of Gabon’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.

The 2.1 UCI Africa Tour road race is slated to start on February 27 and will run over seven stages through March 5.

Rwanda is among the 10 African countries that will grace Africa’s arguably most gruesome race that will also attract four UCI continental teams from Europe and one from Asia.

A very youthful team, that includes five riders that will be making their debut appearance, has been training since early January under the close eye of national team assistant coach Felix Sempoma and retired cyclist Nathan Byukusenge.

According to Sempoma, the spirit is high among his riders.

“We are taking a relatively very young and new team but, of course, the objective is to win stages and get the highest possible ranking. The motivation and spirit are high, which is very important, we training extensively and ready for the challenge,” Sempoma told Times Sport.

Fresh from competing at African Continental Championships, the team will be led by Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, the winner of the competition’s stage five in 2014 (Rwanda’s best performance at the race so far).

Riders who will be making their La Tropicale Amissa Bongo debut include; Rene Ukiniwabo, Alex Nizeyimana, Samuel Hakiruwizeye and Eric Nduwayo and Jeremy Karegeya.

Last year, Team Rwanda finished in eighth place out of 14 participating teams while Patrick Byukusenge finished second in the mountains classification, with Jean Claude Uwizeye finishing third in the junior category.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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