Top SA teams confirm Tour du Rwanda participation

South African cycling teams Samsung MTN Qhubeka and UCI Continental Center have confirmed participation in the 2013 Tour du Rwanda scheduled for November 17-24.
Rwanda Cycling Federation boss Aimable Bayingana (right) congratulates Adrien Niyonshuti during stage five of last year's Tour du Rwanda. Times Sport/ T. Kisambira
Rwanda Cycling Federation boss Aimable Bayingana (right) congratulates Adrien Niyonshuti during stage five of last year's Tour du Rwanda. Times Sport/ T. Kisambira

Itinerary

A    Prologue Stade Amahoro: Nov.17

B    Kigali – Kirehe: Nov.18

C    Rwamagana – Musanze: Nov.19

D    Rubavu – Kinigi: Nov.20

E    Musanze – Muhanga : Nov.21

F    Muhanga – Nyamagabe : Nov.22

G    Huye-Kigali (Stade Regional) : Nov.23

H    Kigali – Kigali : Nov.24

South African cycling teams Samsung MTN Qhubeka and UCI Continental Center have confirmed participation in the 2013 Tour du Rwanda scheduled for November 17-24.

According to  the Rwanda Cycling Federation president Aimable Bayingana, the presence of the two teams will make this year’s tournament competitive and one of the best ever.

He also confirmed that Rwanda’s top rider Adrien Niyonshuti will feature for his team Samsung MTN and not any of the three Rwandan teams.

“He will be with his team and we are ok with that because he has been ill for a long time and it is his team that has treated him, so they know his condition better than anyone else,” Bayingana told Times Sport on Wednesday.

Bayingana added that Algeria’s Sovac has pulled out of the event due to lack of finances.

Samsung MTN-Qhubeka team has been boosted with the recent signing of Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot and 19-year-old talent Merhawi Kudus for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The Eritrean duo joins Rwandan Niyonshuti, who has been a member of the South African professional team since 2009.

Teklehaimanot, a multi-time national and African road and time trial champion comes from the Orica-GreenEdge team after a season dogged by visa issues, while Kuduis will make his professional debut with the South African-registered team.

Both riders are a product of the UCI World Cycling Centre: Teklehaimanot, at 24, is a veteran of European racing having spent two years at the World Tour level and completed his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España in 2012.

Last year, Niyonshuti finished ninth with 22:54:14 scooping Blue Jersey for being the top Rwandan rider.

Lill Daren from Team South Africa won last year’s yellow jersey when he clinched three out of eight stages in the 894.8km cycling race.

Supersport to broadcast the event

South Africa based Supersport will broadcast the week-long Tour du Rwanda live and Bayingana said, “It is the first time the event is going to be broadcast live on an international channel. It’s another big step for not only the competition but Rwandan cycling in general.”

Other teams expected include; Novo Nordisk - USA, Lamaisonduvelo.Com - France, Avia Crabbe - Belgium, Gabon, Sovac Alger, Team Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa as well as the three Rwandan teams, Karisimbi, Akagera and Muhabura.

Last year, Team South Africa won the event while Team Karisimbi and Team Akagera finished in fifth and sixth positions respectively.

The Tour du Rwanda started in 1988 as a local event but since 2009, it has been part of the UCI Africa Tour in category 2.2.

Past winners since 2001

2001:     Bernard N’Sengiyumva (RWA)

2002:     Abraham Ruhumuriza (RWA)

2003:     Abraham Ruhumuriza (RWA)

2004:     Abraham Ruhumuriza (RWA)

2005:     Abraham Ruhumuriza (RWA)

2006:     Peter Kamau (KEN)

2007:     Abraham Ruhumuriza (RWA)

2008:     Adrien Niyonshuti (RWA)

2009:     Adil Jelloul (MAR)

2010:     Daniel Teklehaymanot (ERI)

2011:     Kiel Reijnen (USA)

2012:     Darren Lill (RSA)

 

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