All set for start of Tour du Rwanda 2013

The 16th edition of the Tour du Rwanda cycling race, the fifth since it became a UCI Africa Tour in 2009, gets underway on Sunday and the hosts will be represented by three teams, each made up of five riders.
Nathan Byukusenge, Bonaventure, Ruhumuriza
Nathan Byukusenge, Bonaventure, Ruhumuriza

The 16th edition of the Tour du Rwanda cycling race, the fifth since it became a UCI Africa Tour in 2009, gets underway on Sunday and the hosts will be represented by three teams, each made up of five riders.

In the build-up to the top and most popular cycling competitions in the region and one of the biggest in Africa, Saturday Sport’s reporter Peter Kamasa profiles the 15 riders who will ride for Rwandan sides;

Team Kalisimbi, Team Akagera and Team Muhabura.

Abraham Ruhumuriza
Date and of birth:  July 28, 1977 in Gisagara, Southern Rwanda
Height:   1,71m
Weight: 60kg
Team (for Tour du Rwanda 2013): Team Kalisimbi
Club: Cine Elmay
*Competitions performance
11th - Tour of Cameroon 2011 and 1st in Mountain Jersey
9th - African Continental Championships 2010 (9th in Team Time Trial)
35th- Commonwealth Games /India in 2010 (Road Race)
1st - Kwita Izina race 2010
7th - Tour of Cameroon 2010 (Won two stages)
17th - Tour of Amissa Bongo, Gabon, 2010 (4th Best African)
1st - Tour of City of Kigali 2009
5th - Tour of Rwanda 2009

In 1999, Ruhumuriza began racing on a single speed bike and has since developed into an experienced rider. He was introduced to racing by a friend to his family and bought his first 10 speed bike with the help of a friend.

Ruhumuriza remarried in 2008 after the death of his first wife. He says through cycling he has managed to fend for his family.

“My family is everything to me and I am thankful to cycling which has given me the opportunity to own a home and a small business,” he noted.

**He is Rwanda’s most experienced active rider.

Nathan Byukusenge

Date of birth: August, 8, 1980 in Kamonyi, Southern Rwanda
Height:   1, 67 m
Weight: 58kg
Team: Team Kalisimbi
Club: Benediction Club
*Competitions performance
6th- Team Time Trial African Continental Championship
2nd – Rwanda National Championships 2012
3rd – Rwanda National Championship 2013
4th - Tour du Rwanda 2011
9th - Tour du Cameroon 2010
29th - Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2012
19th - Tour du Eritrea 2013

**He is one of the riders who have been with the team for a long time now.

Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva
Date of birth:   November 4, 1992 in Nyabihu, Western Rwanda
Height:   1,70m
Weight:     62kg
Team:     Kalisimbi
Club:     Benediction Club

Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva is one of the newest faces on the team. His first moment in the limelight came in the 2012 Kwita Izina Tour and Tour du Rwanda 2012. He also competed in Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2013,

Tour d’Eritrea 2013 and Jeux de la Francophonie 2013.

He was 5th in Anti-Corruption Race, Kigali in 2012; and 10th in General Classification in Fenkel Northern Redsea in Tour de Eritrea
Bonaventure Uwizeyimana
Date of birth: January 4, 1993
Team:     Kalisimbi
Club:     Benediction Club

He has been a member of Team Rwanda for two years now and is one of the key riders for his club and country.
Janvier Hadi
Date of birth: January 15, 1991
Team:     Kalisimbi
Club:     Word Cycling Centre

He’s one of the most promising stars in the national team and has nailed down a regular place in Team Rwanda since 2011.

Hassan Rukundo
Date of birth: January 1, 1990 in Nyamagabe, Southern Rwanda.
Height:      1,67m
Weight:      60kg
Team:     Akagera
Club:     Cine Elmay Club

Rukundo started his cycling career in 2010, took part in the 2012 Kwita Izina Tour, and made his Tour du Rwanda debut in 2012. He was part of Team Rwanda that competed in Tour du Gabon, Tour du Eritrea, and Tour du DR Congo.

Valens Ndayisenga

Date of birth: January 1, 994 in Rwamagana, Eastern Rwanda.
Height:      1,75m
Weight:     62kg
Team:     Akagera
Club:     Les Amis Sportiff de Rwamagana
He started in racing in 2011, and came in third position in the 2013
Tour of the City of Kigali. Ndayisenga dominated the one-day ‘Individual Time Trial’ cycling race 2013.

Emile Bintunimana
Date of birth: August 15, 1991 in Runda, Kamonyi, Southern Rwanda
Height:       1,60m
Weight:     66kg
Team:     Akagera
Club:     Benediction Club

He started his career in 2011, participated in last year’s Tour du Rwanda and Tour du DRC, and featured in Jeux Francophonie 2013 as well as Tour du Morocco.  He finished 2nd in General Classification of Tour de Congo. Bintunimana is another promising Team Rwanda rider.

Joseph Biziyaremye

Date of birth: January 1, 1988 in Kamonyi, Southern Rwanda
Height:     1,79m
Weight:     68kg
Team:     Akagera
Club:     Cine Elmay Club

He is one of the few Rwandan rides who have won a stage in Tour du Rwanda since 2009. He won Kwita Izina Tour two years ago as well as one stage in the 2013 Tour du Congo. He is married to Francine Uwamahoro.

Patrick Byukusenge

Date of birth: June 1, 1991 Nyabihu, Western Rwanda
Height:       1,71m
Weight:     62kg
Team:     Muhabura
Club:     Benediction Club

He started racing in 2012 and tomorrow he will make his debut in Tour du Rwanda. He is a younger brother Nathan Byukusenge.

Jeremy Karegeya

Date of birth:  January 1, 1993 in Kamonyi, Southern Rwanda
Height:       1,71’
Height:       61kg
Team:     Murabura
Club:     Cine Elmay Club

Karegeya is another one to watch out for the future. He started racing in 2012 and went on to make his international debut for Team Rwanda in this year’s Tropicale Amissa Bongo Tour du Gabon and Tour du Eritrea in 2013

Aime Mupenzi
Date of birth:  June 15, 1994 in DRC
Height:       1,63’
Weight:     59kg
Team:     Murabura
Club:     Benediction Club
This younger brother of Janvier Hadi started his riding career this year, which makes him the newest face on Team Rwanda. He has shown enormous potential to compete at the highest level. He will have been grateful to coach Jonathan Boyer for the opportunity to compete against some of the continent’s crème de la crème.

Theoneste Karasira
Date of birth: November 12, 1990 in Nyabihu, Western Rwanda
Height: 1,67m
Weight:  62kg
Team: Murabura
Club: Benediction Club
He started racing with Benediction Club at the start of 2013 and he has proved to be a potential future star. This will be Karasira’s international debut.

Innocent ‘Rocky’ Uwamungu
Date of birth: July 6, 1988
Team: Muhabura
Club: Benediction Club Uwamumgu’s introduction to professional racing was a result of an unplanned encounter on the road with Team Rwanda members in Musanze District, the team’s training base in 2007. He was riding a single speed just cranking away when Boyer and his team bumped into him on the road.

Shortly after he was given a bike, trained for six weeks and was then sent to the UCI Training Centre in South Africa to learn how to race a sports bike. Uwamungu is already an international racing Team Rwanda member, having competed in the 2011 Tour of Gabon and Tour of Cameroon.

He made his Tour of Rwanda debut back in 2010. Rocky, as he’s known among his peers and the coaching staff, is married with two children.

The name Rocky was given to him by Team Rwanda coach when he showed up for trials wearing a Rock Shox jersey.
peter.kamasa@newtimes.co.rw

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