The National Cycling team is focusing on winning the yellow jersey at the upcoming Tour of Egypt in Hurghada, from January 14-18.
The team led by reigning Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga, Janvier Hadi, Patrick Byukusenge, Emile Bintunimana, Joseph Biziyaremye and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana left Kigali yesterday for the five-day competition in the coastal town next to the Red Sea.
Head coach Felix Sempoma told Times Sport that, “Our main aim is to bring home the yellow jersey. It will not be easy because the terrain is different from the one we are used to here at home but we are prepared to overcome the hurdles presented by this competition.”
Sempoma who was also the head coach of Team Rwanda at the 2013 Africa continental cycling championships in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt explained that, “We were here two years ago so we know what to expect. We know the weather conditions and have changed our tactics to suit this competition. It will mostly be windy and humid.”
Hadi who won bronze in the men’s U-23 category and has won the Tour du Rwanda prologue stage back-to-back in 2013 and 2014 revealed that, “We are going to give this competition our very best because we want to win.”
His teammate Ndayisenga said, “Our performance on the first day will give us direction on how to go about the remaining days. We want one of us to win the yellow jersey at the prologue stage so that we work hard for him to retain it until the last day.”
Team mechanic Jean de Dieu Uwimana and soigneur Obed Ruvogera were part of Team Rwanda in 2009 when Rwanda last participated in this competition and they told this paper that they have already briefed the younger riders like Byukusenge and Bintunimana on what to expect.