Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga is set to return to the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle (Switzerland) in April next year as he pursues a professional cycling career.
According to Rwanda Cycling team coach Jonathan Boyer, the 20-year-old will go after taking part in a series of races in Algeria in March.
“He will go in April and could go with other riders like Hadi Janvier, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana and Jean Bosco Nsengimana who have great potential in the sport,” Boyer said.
Nsengimana finished in 2nd place while Uwizeyimana came in 17th position in the Tour du Rwanda. Hadi Janvier was 30th but sacrificed his chances in the competition during stage 4 when he gave his bike to Ndayisenga, whose bicycle had been damaged by a puncture.
Ndayisenga spent three months early this year training at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Switzerland. It was a learning curve for the young athlete, who was able to train with athletes from all over the world and gained race experience.
Ndayisenga credited the cycling clinic which also involves several races as one of the reasons behind his triumph in the Tour du Rwanda.
WCC Coach Jean-Jacques Henry recently told a cycling news website that Ndayisenga is one of the best Africans in the Under-23 category.
“Technically he had a lot of shortcomings when he came to us. He had enormous qualities in the mountains but had difficulty in the descents and staying in a peloton,” Jacques said adding that Ndayisenga has been invited to return to the centre in Switzerland next year.
Meanwhile, Team Rwanda head coach, Jonathan Boyer has paid glowing tribute to all the 15 cyclists that represented Rwanda in the Tour du Rwanda.
Boyer said “I am proud of the boys, it was hot, fast and hard and in the end Valens Ndayisenga finished on top.”
“All riders have been unbelievable in this Tour; everyone played a key part in winning this event. I am proud of all the three teams because they did a wonderful job,” the former Tour de France rider said.
Prize money shared
All fifteen riders that represented Rwanda in the competition shared equally all the prize money that they got from the competition including the $1800 meant for the winner of the competition.
Boyer told this paper that even the bonus that the Minister of Sports promised to give the teams will be shared equally.
“Cycling is a team sport. Although Ndayisenga won the competition, everybody in the team worked hard to help him do that. Even the mechanics and masseurs will get a bonus,” Boyer said.
On two occasions when Ndayisenga’s bicycle got a puncture, his colleagues Hadi Janvier and Nathan Byukusenge would immediately surrender theirs and wait for mechanics to repair the damaged bicycles.