5. South Africa
Rwanda has toppled Eritrea as the new African leaders in Men’s U23 category in the latest International Cycling Union (UCI) World rankings.
The ranking comes after outstanding performance in the international competitions this year. Eritrea has been on top for the last two years.
Topping the ranking for the first time in history comes on the back of impressive performances by Rwandan riders at the African Continental Road Championship in Morocco in February, Tour du Cameroun in March and the recently concluded Algeria Grand Cycling Tour.
Rwanda’s 20-year-old Joseph Areruya tops the U23 individual ranking, ahead of Eritrea’s Amanuel Gebrezgabihier, while Jean Claude Uwizeye is third. Algerians Abderrahmane Bechlagheme and Abderrahmane Mansouri complete the top five on the continent.
In Men’s elite, Rwanda is ranked fifth behind leaders Eritrea, who maintained top spot, Algeria is second, Morocco third and South Africa is fourth.
In individual ranking, Eritrean Tesfom Okubamarian retained top spot while Areruya is tenth and the only Rwandan cyclist in the top ten.
The latest rankings also saw Italy topping the table in U23 UCI Europe Tour, Colombia in UCI America Tour, Korea in UCI Asia Tour and Australia in UCI Oceania Tour.
In the UCI World ranking on global scale, Belgium top the table, France is second, Australia stands third, Italy sits fourth while Great Britain is fifth. Eritrea is 15th, Algeria 17th, Morocco 18th, South Africa are 20th while Rwanda comes in 32nd place.