Cyclist Uwizeye relishes chance to go professional

Jean-Claude Uwizeye (in front) with Eritrean rider Eyob Metkel during the African Road Race Championship in Kigali in February. Sam Ngendahimana.

Team Rwanda cyclist Jean-Claude Uwizeye has said that his dream to turn professional could be approaching after signing his first major contract with French side Pays Olonne Cycliste Côte de Lumière (POCCL).

The 24-year old rider, along with his compatriot and two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga, inked a one-year contract with the French club in February before joined them in last month. The duo flew to France to join their new club after returning from the XXI Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Speaking to Times Sport on Friday in a phone interview from France, the former Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana rider said he looked forward to the new challenge, adding that the development opens the door for a professional contract in the future.

“It really means a lot to be here, I have worked hard for this and I can’t wait to start competing and take any chance that comes along,” said Uwizeye. 

“My dream is to take my career to the biggest stage possible like some of my compatriots have done and possibly go even further. I believe this is a stepping stone and I hope to make the most of it,” he added.

Established in 1992 and affiliated to French Federation of Cycling (FFC), Pays Olonne Cycliste Côte de Lumière (POCCL) is a non-professional training club that competes in tournaments in France.

The club has a senior team, a junior team and a cycling academy.

Unlike Uwizeye, Ndayisenga, who is one of the most successful Rwandan cyclists, has previously rode for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s continental team – in 2016 – before joining Austria’s Tirol Cycling Team last year.


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