Germany-based UCI Continental team Stradalli-Bike Aid has said it respects the decision by Rwanda’s professional cyclist Janvier Hadi to quit the team and retire from the sport . Hadi on Tuesday said he was quitting the sport at the age of just 25.
In an official statement signed by the team manager, Timo Schäfer, on Thursday, the club claims it learnt of Hadi’s sudden retirement through the media, but respects the rider’s decision.
“In 2016 BIKE AID signed 2 Rwandan riders, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Janvier Hadi, to offer them the opportunity to step up and take the next step on their way as professional athletes,” the statement reads in part.
It adds, “After their arrival in Germany in late April, it was the personal wish of Hadi to leave Germany in early June after 6 weeks to go back to Rwanda, due to personal reasons. There was a commitment between BIKE AID and the rider that he will settle himself and prepare for Tour of Rwanda which he had in mind to do with BIKE AID.”
The statement further says, “On the morning of Tuesday, September 20, we learned from the Rwandan press and proactively information of Rwandan national team that Hadi retired from cycling. Until now we do not have any official and personal statement from his side.
In the statement the club adds that BIKE AID acts in accordance with the contract signed by both parties – the team and the rider – at any time.
However, when contacted, Hadi denied that he never communicated to his bosses, saying, “No, that is not true, I still have the conversation we had in my phone, I told them that I will not be with them in the remaining period of my contract due to the difficult situation I am going through.”
The 25-year -old cyclist reaffirmed that he took the decision to quit the sport he says he “loves so much” following what he called “unscrupulous treatment” from the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY).
The reigning African road race champion claimed the federation’s attitude toward him had alienated him and that left him feeling unwanted.
FERWACY officials have rejected the allegations.
His compatriot Nsengimana remains with the German team and is expected to ride for them when he attempts to successfully defend his Tour du Rwanda crown later this year.