Former national cycling team captain Janvier Hadi is set for his first international appearance since 2016 when Team Rwanda takes part in the 17th edition of Tour du Senegal that runs from April 22-29.
Team Rwanda Cycling will be making its second appearance at the annual 2.2 UCI category race.
Coached by Felix Sempoma, the six-man team were scheduled to leave the country for Dakar this morning, aboard a RwandAir flight. The team opted to travel early to acclimatise with the humid weather of Senegal and also have a feel of the terrain.
Hadi, 27, ended his one-year premature retirement from professional cycling last October and was supposed to contest at the 2018 Tour du Cameroon last month but the race was called off a day before kick-off.
Apart from Hadi, the team to Senegal is comprised of Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Patrick Byukusenge, Didier Munyaneza, Uwiduhaye and Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo. Eric Maniriho is the team mechanic while Obed Ruvogera is the physiotherapist.
This year’s Tour du Senegal has attracted a record 19 teams, twelve national teams and seven UCI Continental Tour teams, including debutants Interpro Stradalli Cycling of Japan.
Besides the host country, other African national teams include; Benin, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso and Rwanda.
Senegal, Morocco, Ethiopia and Rwanda are some of the national teams to watch at the 8-stage race.
The seven cycling clubs in the contest include; Club La Défense (France), Team Embrace the World (Germany), Global Cycling Team (Netherlands), Team Interpro Stradalli Cycling (Japan), Team Riders Kenyan Safaricom (Kenya), Team Sovac Natuea4ever (Algeria), Selection Switzerland and Canadian side Team Velo select Apogee.
Algerian international Islam Mansouri, riding for Velo Club Sovac, are last year’s winners. This year’s race will cover a total of 1,097-kilometre distance.
Ndayisenga, Uwizeye and Areruya set for Pro moves to France
In the meantime, Rwandan trio of Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Claude Uwizeye and Africa’s highest ranked cyclist Joseph Areruya were not included on the Tour du Cameroon roster as they head to France for their respective new teams next week.
Two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Ndayisenga, both fresh from the XXI Commonwealth Games in Australia, will be joining Pays Olonne Cycliste Côte de Lumière on April 22 while former Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s rider Areruya will be joining Delko–Marseille Provence KTM two days later.
Ndayisenga and Uwizeye, both 24, have signed a one-year contract with the French side while 22-year old Areruya will serve Delko–Marseille Provence KTM for two seasons.
Stages of Tour du Senegal
Stage 1, Dakar – Thies (143.2 km)
Stage 2, Thies – St Louis (181.8 km)
Stage 3, St Louis – Pire-Goureye (148.5 km)
Stage 4, Thies – Thies (108 km)
Stage 5, Thies – Ndangane (158.2 km)
Stage 6, Ndangane – Ngueniene (114.9 km)
Stage 7, Ngaparou – Ngaparou (140 km)
Stage 8, Corniche Ouest de Dakar – Corniche Ouest de Dakar (102.4km)