The 14th edition of the African Continental Cycling Championship opens today. The four-day event, that will mostly take place between Kigali and Nyamata, has attracted some of the best cyclists from over 20 African countries.
Over the years, cycling has burrowed its way into the hearts of many Rwandans and has been a source of pride due to the national team’s – and individuals – achievements.
Team Rwanda have scooped all the honours in the last three major cycling events on the African calendar and hopes are high that they will duplicate the same this week.
Many sports have not had something to write home about, especially popular ones such as football, but have caused more anxiety to fans. Cycling has changed all that.
A lot has been achieved in the last ten years since Rwanda Cycling Federation was created. A lot has been invested and today we are seeing the fruits of that labour. Hopes are high that some of our young riders will soon be peddling in some of the top events globally such as the Tour de France.
Our topography makes cycling very competitive and the landscape; with its lush rolling hills, valleys and mountains makes for good television footage. But more than all that, it is the enthusiasm displayed by the populations all along the routes.
That popular support has been one of the key factors that have made our riders perform well, knowing well that the whole country was behind them. This is a time to once again rally behind Team Rwanda, coming out in big numbers to shore up support for they deserve it.