Men’s U-23 time trial, 6:30pm
Team Rwanda riders Valens Ndayisenga and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana will be looking to register a positive result when they compete in the men’s U-23 30km individual time trial at the ongoing World Cycling Championships in Richmond, Virginia in USA. The duo made their debut at last year’s edition in Ponferrada, Spain with Ndayisenga finishing 51st with 48:28.27, 4:38.33 behind the winner Campbell Flakemore of Australia after 36.15km.
Jean Bosco Nsengimana finished 57th after posting 48:54.19 and was 5:04.25 behind Flakemore, a performance that saw the duo ranked among the top 60 riders in the world.
“Last year was our first time to compete at the World Championships and our target was to finish the race but now we are looking at the bigger picture, our target is to win,” said Ndayisenga, the reigning and three-time national individual time trial champion.
Today will be the first time Team Rwanda riders will compete on the Pinarello Dogma F8 carbon race bikes donated by President Paul Kagame as a reward for winning the 2014 Tour du Rwanda.
Ndayisenga and Nsengimana alongside Janvier Hadi and Joseph Aleluya clinched bronze in the men’s team time trial at the just concluded All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Uwizeyimana, who finished ninth in stage five of the Steamboat Springs competition a fortnight ago despite racing alone, will be hoping to replicate this form in today’s event. He has been training in the USA for a month based in Wyoming for the most part.
Ndayisenga is however wary of the quality of their opposition in Richmond. He said, “We shall be up against riders that were competing at the Tour de France.
In the U-23 category there are so many strong riders who were at the Tour de France who are U-23 so it is a very strong competition but we are very glad that we shall be competing at this level.”
He added that, “We are ready and have trained well. It is the second time we are competing at the World Championships.
It is a competition that is at a very high level that we are not used to but we are very lucky that we shall be competing at this level. Not everyone goes to the World Championships.”
Ndayisenga has been training at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland since April and has competed in races across Europe. He will be looking to replicate this form at the international stage.
Today’s course has a total elevation of 96 meters and is on a circuit of 15km for one lap and the U-23 men will do two laps.
The circuit is a technical course that goes through the city of Richmond but most notably boasts of a 300m long climb heading up before they get to a flat 680 meters towards the finish line.
Meanwhile, Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti will not compete in the men’s elite category due to commitments with his side Team Qhubeka who are competing at the Coppa Ugo Agustoni in Lissone, Italy.