Rwanda’s top cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti is not fazed about taking on some of the world’s best cyclists in this Tour of Rwanda which takes off this Monday.
The 22-year-old raced to last year’s title after beating off stiff competition from four-time champions Abraham Ruhumuriza and Nathan Byukusenge.
In an interview with Times Sport, Niyonshuti, who rides for South Africa’s MTN Energade said that though there will be stiffer opposition this year, he is up for the challenge.
“I have been preparing for this race for sometime and I’m very keen to defend my title,” he said.
“I have upped my training schedule. I have been riding from Rubavu to Kigali and then back. It’s hectic but I know that it will be worth it when the Tour takes off.”
Niyonshuti has enjoyed a good season after being the first Rwandan to ride alongside seven time tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in the tour of Ireland.
After witnessing Niyonshuti’s hunger for success, the Legendary American cyclist predicted a good career for MTN Energrade rider.
Last week, Niyonshuti also won Bronze in the U-23 men’s individual time trial at the 2009 African Continental road cycling championship in Windhoek-Namibia.
Sixty cyclists are expected to take part in the eight day event which will cover a total of 1069km.
The Ministry of Sports, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), OCIR-THE, Fina bank, Western Union, Soras, CNLG and MTN-Rwanda are some of the sponsors for this year’s edition.