Tour du Rwanda reigning champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana is confident about his chances of defending his title when the 8th edition of the UCI-Africa Tour race slated for November 13 to 20.
Nsengimana, who will be riding for German-based Bike Aid has been training in Rwanda. The 23-year old signed a one-year deal with the UCI Continental team together with Hadi Janvier, who retired from the sport two weeks ago.
“I have been training with Team Rwanda but I will ride for Bike Aid. The club (Bike Aid) has supported my preparation and I’m looking forward to continue working hard and improve every day,” said the former Benediction Club rider.
On losing Hadi as a teammate, he added, “Losing Hadi was very hard to believe but I have to forget that. It hurt to see some one like Hadi, who was one of the best riders in Rwandan cycling retiring but I have to respect his decision…I would have loved to race with him for Bike Aid.”
“My goal is to retain my title, I feel very confident that and I am ready to give my best to make our country proud again,” noted Nsengimana.
Nsengimana further added, “Everything is going according to plan in training and I feel in good shape. I still have a couple of weeks to make sure that I am in the best possible shape to defend my title.”
Meanwhile, for the first time, the race will reach the Southern part of the country following the addition of two new routes; Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km) as the annual event passes through Rwanda’s vast tropical rainforest of Nyungwe.
Teams that have confirmed participation include; Team Rwanda, Club Benediction (Rubavu, Rwanda), Sports Club Friends (Rwamagana, Rwanda), 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), Team Lowestrates.Com (Canada), Team Haute-Savoie Rhone-Alpes (France) and Team Furniture Decarte (Switzerland).