Byukusenge appointed as youth, women’s team coach


Nathan Byukusenge. File.

Former Team Rwanda rider Nathan Byukusenge has been appointed as the national cycling coach in charge of women and the junior teams. FERWACY president Aimable Bayingana confirmed the development to Times Sport, adding that this was aimed at giving chance to former Team Rwanda cyclists to be part of the development of the sport in the country.

“I am excited to become the national team coach for youth and women teams. I have just come back from training in South Africa, and have learned a lot. I want to help young local riders and I am ready to give my best in building the cycling sport.”

Bayingana also urged other former Team Rwanda cyclists to step forward and give a hand in developing cycling in the country.

The 37-year-old is fresh from a two-month training course at the African Continental Cycling Centre in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The training made the 2016 Olympian the second most qualified Rwandan cycling coach, along with Team Rwanda assistant coach Felix Sempoma.

Byukusenge announced retirement from competitive cycling last year, ending a 13-year stellar career. The former Benediction Club captain replaces American duo of Tarah and Jonathan Freter who were the coaches of women and junior teams, respectively.

Byukusenge is one of the five pioneer riders of Team Rwanda, and competed in many competitions like Tour du Rwanda and mountain bike race at the world championships in Spain back in 2015.

During his career, Byukusenge also impressed at international level. He finished 6th in the African Continental Championship in 2011 while at the GC Tour of Rwanda 2012, he finished 4th. In 2011, he came 2nd in the National Road Race Championships and 4th overall in Tour du Rwanda.

Born on August 8, 1980, in Gihara (now Kamonyi District) in Southern Province, Byukusenge started competitive cycling in 2003, and has gone on to become one of the country’s most famous cyclists. He began his career at the same time as Adrien Niyonshuti, who is now based in South Africa.

Before venturing into cycling as a sport, Byukusenge started cycling as a means of earning income transporting people in his home area of Gihara. He was introduced to professional racing by American trainer Jonathan Boyer.

He raced in Tour du Rwanda between 2004 and 2008, before it was added on to the UCI-Africa Tour in 2009 but bowed out without winning the country’s most prestigious race.

He finished 3rd at the National Championships Road Race in 2013, 2nd in 2012, 6th in Kwita Izina Cycling Tour in 2012 and 8th in the 2012 Tour du Rwanda. He also finished 3rd at the National Championships Rwanda-Road Race in 2013, 2nd at the National Championships Road Race in 2012, and 6th in Kwita Izina Cycling Tour in 2012.

In 2016, he competed in the Rio Olympic Olympics Mountain Bike race, for his Olympics debut, but didn’t finish the race.