OVER 18 local cyclists will start intensive preparations today at the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC) in Musanze District ahead of the 2016 Tour du Rwanda scheduled for November 13-20.
Rwanda will field one national team and two clubs at the 8th edition of the international cycling race. The clubs include Club Benediction of Rubavu and Friends of Rwamagana Sports Club. Previously, Rwanda was fielding three national teams – Akagera, Karisimbi and Muhabura.
Rwanda Cycling Federation will be aiming to see teams improve this year compared to the past years, according to the Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Murenzi.
“We are going to prepare the riders well ahead of the race, we will let them know what the country expects of them,” Murenzi told this paper.
In 2014, Valens Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan rider to win the Tour du Rwanda since its inception on the UCI Africa calendar in 2009. Six years later, Jean Bosco Nsegimana became the second Rwandan to win the title in 2015. This year’s edition will have over 85 riders representing 17 teams.
The riders summoned for the training include seven riders from Benediction Club: Nathan Byukusenge, Gasore Hategeka, Patrick Byukusenge, Eric Nduwayo, Samuel Mugisha, Pappy Mpiriwenimana, and Alexis Nizeyimana.
Amis Sportif de Rwamagana riders are Joseph Areruya, Ephrem Tuyishimire, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Seth Hakizimana, Eugene Gashiramanga and Didier Hakizimana.
Cycling Club for All will send three riders including Abraham Ruhumuriza, Mathieu Twizerane and Samuel Hakiruwizeye, and Ciney Elmay will have Joseph Biziyaremye and Jeremy Karegeya
The foreign teams which will compete in the race include National Team of South Africa, National Team of Ethiopia, National Team of Eritrea, National Team of Egypt, and National Team of Algeria.
Others are Dimension Data For Qhubeka (South-Africa), Kenyan Riders Downunder (Kenya), Sharjah Cycling Team (United Arab Emirates), Cycling Academy Team (Israel) Tirol Cycling Team (Austria), Stradalli Bike Aid (Germany), Lowestrates.Com (Canada), Team Haute-Savoie Rhone-Alpes (France) and Team Furniture Decarte (Switzerland).