Rwanda national cycling team ‘Team Rwanda’ has begun early preparations ahead of the 2017 African Continental Road Championships, the first race on the UCI Africa Tour calendar that will be held in Luxor, Egypt from February 14-19.
Fresh from competing at this year’s Tour du Rwanda, a total of seven riders have been selected by head coach Sterling Magnell and are currently in residential training camp at the Africa Cycling Rising Center in Musanze District.
The annual event comprises men and women categories. The men’s category has three sub categories namely; juniors (U18), Under 23 and Men elite, who compete in Road Race, Individual Time Trial (ITT) and Team Time Trial (TTT).
On the other hand, the women category comprises two sub categories which are; juniors and women elite also competing in Road Race, Individual Time Trial (ITT) and Team Time Trial (TTT).
Team Rwanda will be led by the reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga, who won silver in the Under 23 Time Trial and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who finished 11th in the elite men road race in 2015.
The other male riders include; the 2015 former Tour du Rwanda champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Joseph Areruya and Samuel Mugisha.
The women category has Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu, who finished second in this year’s Individual Time Trial and 13th in the road race. However, Magnell revealed that two more women riders will be added to the team in January.
“The camp has already begun, we gave riders two weeks to relax after Tour du Rwanda, but because the African Championship is in February, we had to start early preparations. We shall have a break for Christmas from December 17 until January 3,” coach Magnell told Saturday Sport.
The American trainer added that, “The riders will continue their individual training during the Christmas break and we shall provide each one of them with a detailed training programme to follow.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Cycling endorsed Rwanda to host the 2018 African Continental Road Championships.
It will be the second time for Rwanda to stage Africa’s most prestigious cycling event, but the first time since 2010.