Two experts have begun work on the Mountain Bike track in Musanze that will host the 2015 African Mountain Bike Continental championships in May 2015.
Rudy Hauser and Ueli Gunpli, who work for Trailworks, a trail design and consulting company in Switzerland, will spend the next two months constructing the track that will be 6km long on a piece of land next to the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC), the home of Team Rwanda Cycling (TRC).
Notably, Trailworks constructed the track at the 2003 Mountain Bike World Championships in Lugano, Switzerland.
“They are also teaching us how to make these tracks. This is the first of many across the country. They are very professional and are doing it in a very ecological way mindful of erosion and nature to make sure that it does not destroy the environment but rather build it in a very useful way,” explained Jonathan ‘Jock’ Boyer, the technical director of the Rwanda Cycling Federation.
Ten riders from TRC are already undergoing mountain bike training at ARCC in preparation for the continental championships that are also a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
In 2011, Adrien Niyonshuti finished fourth at the continental event in Jonkershoek-South Africa to become the first Rwandan to qualify for the mountain bike race at the Olympics. He finished 39th at the London 2012 Olympics.
“Mountain biking is relevant to Rwanda because of the mountain terrain here which is ideally suited for mountain bikes. More people are interested in mountain biking now. It is just a matter of time until we have so many people involved,” added an excited Boyer.
This is the second time Rwanda is hosting a continental cycling event having hosted the 2009 African Cycling continental championships.