Reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga has been named the fifth best African cyclist of the year 2014 by a 21-member jury chaired by Bernard Hinault, the five-time winner of the Tour de France.
Ndayisenga, who became the first Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda since it became an UCI Africa Tour competition in 2009, earned himself recognition across Africa and beyond after beating top contestants during this year’s edition.
Rwandan rider Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who became the first African to win a stage at the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Tour in Gabon earlier year, is ranked ninth on the African continent.
Eritrean Mekseb Debesay was named the 2014 African cyclist of the year after his remarkable success this year, including his triumph in the gruesome month-long Tour of Algeria, a strong performance in the Tour of Cameroon, as well as winning two stages of the Tour du Rwanda, which also saw him land the best climber award.
The 23-year old Debesay, who rides for Germany’s Bike Aid Ride for Help, fended off competition from 2013 winner Louis Meintjes and 2012 champion Natnael Berhane.
2014 Top 5 African Cyclists
Mekseb Debesay Eritrea – Bike and Aid Ride for Help) : 68 points
Louis Meintjes (South Africa – MTN Qhubeka) : 51 points
Natnael Berhane (Eritrea – Europcar) : 41 points
Mouhssine Lahsaini (Morocco) : 30 points
Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda) – 26 points