Tour du Rwanda routes
Prologue stage, Nov. 13: Amahoro Stadium-Amahoro Stadium (3.3km)
Stage 1 – Nov.14: Kigali-Ngoma (96.4km)
Stage 2 – Nov. 15: Kigali Convention center-Karongi (124.7km)
Stage 3 –Nov. 16: Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km)
Stage 4 –Nov. 17 Rusizi-Huye (140.7km)
Stage 5 – Nov. 18 Muhanga-Musanze (125.8km)
Stage 6 – Nov. 19 Musanze-Kigali regional stadium (103.9km)
Stage 7 – Nov. 20 Kigali Amahoro stadium-Kigali Amahoro Stadium (108.0km)
With 11 days to the start of the 2016 Tour du Rwanda, Team Rwanda rider Gasore Hategeka has set his sights on winning this year’s edition.
The 29-year old is optimistic about his chances of winning the 2.2 UCI Africa Tour race after dominating the Rwanda Cycling Cup, which ended last month.
Last year, Gasore finished in 32nd place in a race that was won his teammate Jean-Bosco Nsengimana, who stood out throughout the week-long event winning three stages and wearing the yellow jersey from first to the last day.
Nsengimana, 22, recorded the first major victory of his career after clocking 23:54:50 in the seven-stage race that covered a total distance of 928.4 kilometers.
“I am pleased with the way I am racing this year, and I feel really confident about my chances of winning the race this year. I have been improving in every race and I feel stronger than ever. I know my level of competition has improved,” Gasore told Times Sport on Tuesday.
Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km) are new additions to the annual event and will see riders race through the country’s vast tropical rainforest of Nyungwe.
Gasore, riding for Benediction Club, won two races in this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup,: the ‘Central Challenge’ (from Kayonza to Muhanga), and the ‘Muhazi Challenge’.
He also won the fourth stage of the Tour de Côte d’Ivoire in September.
After nine Rwanda Cycling Cup races, Gasore finished top with 152 points, followed by Amis Sportif riders Jean Claude Uwizeye (138 points) and Joseph Areruya, with 132 points.
“This has been a good year for me; and hope to take my fine form into Tour du Rwanda. My performance has improved over the last 10 months. I would not be wrong to say that I have a good chance of winning Tour du Rwanda this time round,” Gasore said.
In the 8th edition of the international race, Rwanda will be represented by three teams, which include; Team Rwanda, Benediction Club (from Rubavu District) and Sports Club Friends of Rwamagana.
Previously, Rwanda was fielding three national teams – Akagera, Karisimbi and Muhabura. Rwandan riders have won the last two consecutive editions through Valens Ndayisenga and Jean Bosco Nsegimana, respectively.
In 2014, Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan to win the Tour du Rwanda since its incorporation onto the UCI Africa calendar in 2009, and was dethroned by teammate and compatriot, Nsengimana.
Fifteen riders, who will carry Rwanda’s flag at the 2016 Tour du Rwanda slated for November 13-20, entered residential training camp last week, at Africa Rising Cycling Centre in Musanze District.