After winning the Tour du Rwanda, Valens Ndayisenga is keen on pursuing a professional career. Rwanda has only one professional rider-Adrien Niyonshuti who rides for South Africa’s MTN Qhubekha.
“I think there is a possibility of turning professional after a successful Tour du Rwanda and it is something that I will pursue vigorously. However, I am not getting ahead of myself because I have been told it is difficult,” Ndayisenga said.
Aimable Bayingana, the Rwanda Cycling Federation Chairman agrees that the 20-year- old has potential to turn pro but there haven’t been any suitors yet.
“There is a possibility for Ndayisenga and some of his teammates to go professional because they performed well in the Tour du Rwanda. They also had an impressive performances this year but at the moment the cycling season is over and there haven’t been offers, so we will continue to prepare them so that they can be top riders which is always a sure way to a professional career,” Bayingana said.
Cyclists like Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Joseph Biziyaremye who finished in 2nd and 4th positions respectively are also targeting professional careers.
Jean Bosco Nsengimana says that they will continue to do well in every race they compete in a bid to emulate the only professional cyclist in country-Adrien Niyonshuti.
Meanwhile the Rwanda Cycling Federation is trying to secure more training clinics for riders at the world cycling center at Aigle in Switzerland, which is credited with providing an opportunity for local cyclists to compete against the best riders and also pick useful tips from coaches.
One of the things responsible for the sharp rise in fitness of local cyclists is a training centre that was opened in June in the northern town of Musanze with modern equipment and is now set to become a regional training center for cyclists.
The Africa Rising Cycling Centre offers mountain bike and road bike tours using Rwanda national team cyclists as guides. Team Rwanda will also be using cycling to promote tourism in the area.