Stage 1: Moanda-Akiéni (Feb. 27) - 150km
Stage 2: Leconi-Franceville (Feb. 28) - 98km
Stage 3: Mounana-Koulamoutou (Mar. 1) - 157km
Stage 4: Fougamou-Lambaréné (Mar. 2) - 110km
Stage 5: Lambaréné-Kango (Mar. 3) - 144km
Stage 6: Akanda (Cap Estérias)-Libreville (Mar. 4) - 133km
Stage 7: Owendo-Libreville (Mar. 5) - 140km
Team Rwanda riders begin the hunt for medals at this year’s 12th edition of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo cycling race that gets underway today and runs until March 5 in Gabon.
The seven-day event starts with stage one; a 150 kilometre-distance from Moanda to Akiéni, which is also the second longest route of this year’s edition. The third stage, scheduled for March 1, from Mounana-Koulamoutou, covering a distance of 157 Kilometres, is the longest route.
Rwanda has fielded a total of six riders of which five will be making their debut at the annual UCI Africa Tour, category 2.1 road race, and according to the team coach Felix Sempoma, the youthful riders are in high spirits.
“We arrived in Gabon safely; all riders are in good mood and looking ahead to the challenge. We visited Moanda where the race will start and we are looking forward to making a good start,” Sempoma told Times Sport in a phone interview on Sunday.
Fresh from competing at the just concluded African Continental Championship in Luxor, Egypt, the team will be captained by Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, the winner of the competition’s stage five in 2014, which remains Rwanda’s best performance in the race, so far.
The five riders who will be making their debut include; Rene Ukiniwabo, Alex Nizeyimana, Samuel Hakiruwizeye, Eric Nduwayo and Jeremy Karegeya.
The 2.1 only Africa road race tour has attracted a total of other nine African nations, four UCI Continental Teams from Europe and one from Asia.
The nine other countries include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Senegal and hosts Gabon.
The five UCI Continental teams include; Direct Energie (France), Delko Marseille Provence Ktm (France), Minsk Cycling Club (Belarus), Interpro Cycling Academy (Japan) and Bike Aid (Germany). Adrien Petit from Direct Energie is the defending champion.