Former Team Rwanda rider Adrien Niyonshuti is full of praise for the flawless progress that his cousin Eric Muhoza is making in his cycling career. Muhoza, who currently rides for German side Bike Aid, was born in a cycling family which has produced big-name stars in their respective generations. His late father Emmanuel Turatsinze was a famous cyclist during his cycling days some two decades ago while his brother Eugene Gashiramanga played for Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana and SKOL Continental Team respectively. Besides, Muhoza’s uncle Niyonshuti is a 2012 and 2016 Olympian and the only Rwandan to race in the World Tour Team, ranking himself arguably the most successful in his family and one of the best the country has ever produced. Muhoza, 21, could now become the country’s next cycling star after proving his worth at the just-concluded Tour du Rwanda 2023 and later in Rwanda Cycling Cup’s Kivu Belt race in late March. 2023 has been a year of revelation for the youngster who has been making headlines after he gave his Tour du Rwanda opponents a tough challenge before losing the ground against them in the race’s very last stage to the relief of eventual tournament winner Henok Mulueberhan. He, however, won the prize for the best Rwandan rider in the race. Despite finishing the tournament on a low note, Niyonshuti admired Muhoza’s performance at the race while reflecting on his rise to such a big stage like Tour du Rwanda. “I couldn’t be happier. Muhoza came up through my cycling Academy in Rwanda. He’s a smart rider and he is going to do big things in the sport,” the veteran said of Muhoza. “I hope he continues developing to reach a World Tour team,” he added. Muhoza now follows the footsteps of his uncle who was the first Rwandan to go pro in 2009 after securing a professional contract with Team MTN Energade. The youngster had displayed an unmatched performance during the 2023 Tour du Rwanda, positioning himself among outstanding riders set to represent Rwanda at the highly-anticipated 2025 Road World Cycling Championship that will take place in Rwanda. “I am really happy to become a professional rider and the performance in the past races is so good to me. I am looking forward to doing the best I possibly can to improve every day. I know it will be very difficult but I am ready to challenge myself at the highest level” Muhoza said. “This is another big step in my career, which shows that I am progressing well and heading in the right direction. I am sure I will become even better riding for a big team, it’s just the start of my professional career and I intend to make the best of it.” Muhoza joined Bike Aid in January after passing a scouting selection that was organized at Africa Rising Cycling Center. Since he signed for the team, his untapped potential has only flourished. With the team, Muhoza’s work ethic, professionalism and hard work had turned him into a rider that could lift Rwanda high on the African and global cycling map. “It is not only about me, but also the country, Team Rwanda, and the young upcoming riders. I need to inspire more Rwandan riders to follow in my footsteps as Adrien (Niyonshuti) did for many of us,” he noted. Structured training, a demanding race calendar with high-profile races and a professional surrounding should now help Muhoza to get closer to the dream he wants to achieve: Becoming the world’s best cyclist.