2017 Tour of the Alps stages
17 April: Kufstein (Austria) to Innsbruck-Hungerburg (Austria) 142.3 km (88 mi)
18 April : Innsbruck (Austria) to Innervillgraten (Austria) 195.8 km (122 mi)
19 April: Niederdorf (Italy) to Villnöß (Italy) 143.1 km (89 mi)
20 April: Bolzano (Italy) to Cles (Italy) 165.3 km (103 mi)
21 April: Smarano (Italy) to Trento (Italy) 199.6 km (124 mi)
Rwanda International cyclist Valens Ndayisenga will today make his debut for Austria’s Tirol Cycling team when he competes at the 41st edition of Tour of the Alps that gets underway today and run until April 21 in Austria and Italy.
Rwanda’s most decorated rider, Ndayisenga joined Austria’s UCI Continental team two weeks ago after representing the country in this year’s African Continental Championships that took place in Luxor, Egypt where Rwanda won the first ever medal (bronze) in the Team Time Trial (TTT) and the Tour of Cameroon where Team Rwanda finished third with Ndayisenga scooping the best young rider’s award.
The former rider with Team Dimension Data of South Africa signed a one-year contract with Tirol Cyclingin January after being released by his club towards the end of last year together with his compatriot Bonaventure Uwizeyimana. They were replaced by two other Rwandans, Samuel Mugisha and Joseph Areruya.
Ndayisenga, a Tour du Rwanda record four-stage winner, claimed his second title in three years last year to become the first rider to win the UCI Africa Tour category 2.2 road race twice, however the achievement was not enough to see him join Dimension Data World Tour team.
With the annual prestigious Tour of the Alps getting underway today, Ndayisenga who has been getting through paces with his new teammates is among an eight-team roster that has been confirmed by the club to participate in the 2.HC UCI Europe Tour.
The five-day event that will take place between Austria and Italy has attracted a total of 18 teams that include seven UCI World Tour teams, seven UCI Professional Continental teams, three UCI Continental teams and the Italian national team.
The UCI world Tour Teams include AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, BMC Racing Team, Bora–Hansgrohe, Cannondale–Drapac, FDJ and Team Sky.
The UCI Professional Continental teams are Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec, Aqua Blue Sport, Bardiani–CSF, Caja Rural–Seguros RGA, Gazprom–RusVelo, Nippo–Vini Fantini and Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia.
UCI Continental teams are Bike Aid, Sangemini–MG.K Vis plus Ndayisenga’s Tirol Cycling Team and finally the Italian national team.
Initially known as Giro del Trentino before it was renamed Tour of the Alps this year, the short, sharp courses typical of the race, full of steep climbs, are seen as a good proving ground for the aspirants of the Giro d'Italia which usually starts a few days after it concludes.
Team Sky’s Mikel Landa Meana is the defending champion and will again lead the world’s best club (Team Sky) in this year’s edition.
During last year’s edition, he finished the four-stage event on top after clocking 14 hours 44 minutes and 48 seconds.