Fifteen riders, who will carry Rwanda’s flag at the 2016 Tour du Rwanda slated for November 13-20, will today enter residential training camp at Africa Rising Cycling Center in Musanze district.
The riders, spearheaded by last year’s first runner up Joseph Areruya, were selected by the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) after last weekend’s Kivu Belt and Nyungwe Challenge races.
The two races organised by FERWACY aimed at giving the local cyclists a taste of the two routes that have been added on this year’s Tour du Rwanda.
The riders will be divided into three teams of five each. The three teams include; Team Rwanda (national team) that will be under the guidance of Sterling Magnell, Les Amis Sportifs that will be under John Rugambwa, and Benediction Club that will under Felix Sempoma.
“Our riders are fully physically and mentally fit taking into account how they performed in last week’s races (Kivu Belt and Nyungwe Challenge). This residential training camp is aimed at helping them stay focused on the challenge ahead,” Sempoma told Sunday Sport yesterday.
Six players that helped Rwanda claim last year’s 7th edition of the UCI-Africa Tour 2.2 road race will not appear in this edition.
These include reigning champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana, who will ride for Germany-based UCI Continental team Stradalli Bike Aid.
Others are; Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (winner of 2016 national road race championship) and Valens Ndayisenga (2014 Tour du Rwanda), who will ride for South Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Janvier Hadi (winner of 2015 All African Games), who recently retired from the sport as well as Emile Bintunimana and Camera Hakuzimana, who were suspended by FERWACY over indiscipline cases, will also miss out.
Meanwhile among the 15 riders, there are six new faces that will be making their first appearance in the eight-stage premium race. These include; Eric Nduwayo, Samuel Mugisha, Jean Ruberwa, Alex Nizeyimana, Mathieu Twizerane and Samuel Hakiruwizeye.
The riders have been tentatively allocated into three teams but subject to change during the preparations.
Team Rwanda comprises of Nathan Byukusenge, Abraham Ruhumuriza, Joseph Biziyaremye, Gasore Hategeka, and Eric Nduwayo.
Benediction Club has Patrick Byukusenge, Samuel Mugisha, Jean Ruberwa, Jeremy Karegeya, and Alex Nizeyimana while Les Amis Sportif will be made up of Joseph Areruya, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Mathieu Twizerane, Ephrem Tuyishimireand Samuel Hakiruwizeye.