After completing what he describes as a dream move to South Africa’s UCI Continental Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Team Rwanda rider Joseph Areruya is not taking anything for granted and has vowed to make use of the opportunity and join the World Tour Team.
The 21-year-old fast rising rider together with 19-year-old Samuel Mugisha also known as the new king of mountains were signed by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in December last year on a one year contract following their eye-catching performance at the 8th edition of Tour du Rwanda.
The duo replaced their counterparts Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, and the reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga whose one-year contract with the team ended in January with the latter set to join Austria’s Tirol Cycling Team in March.
Areruya and Mugisha are expected to fly to South Africa before the end of this week.
Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview, Areruya said he is delighted to join his favourite and best cycling team in Africa noting that he hopes the move is a stepping stone to his dream.
“Honestly, this was a dream come true, Dimension is one of the best teams not only in Africa but also in the world. I could not be any happier when they expressed interest in me,” said Areruya
The former Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana rider finished in fourth place in the general classification in the 2016 Tour du Rwanda and won stage four (Rusizi-Huye, 140.7km) which was the longest route at last year’s tour.
“My target is to ride at a very professional level and I consider this move as a stepping stone. I want to work hard and invest all I have so that I can join the world tour team and I believe after this spell I will have proven my worth,” he added
Currently, there is only one Rwandan rider, Adrien Niyonshuti, who is on the books of Dimension Data’s World Tour team that is based in Italy and competes on the European Tour and Areruya is hoping to become the second Rwandan to make it to this team.
Areruya made his debut of Tour du Rwanda in 2015 riding for Team Rwanda Akagera, finishing second behind Team Rwanda Karisimbi’s winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana, who clocked 23:54:50 beating the Rwamagana-born rider, by one minute and 45 seconds.
In 2016, Areruya won Algeria’s Circuit International de Constantine (1.2), a 105km race before finishing second at Tour International de Blida, Grand Prix de la Ville d’Oran, also part of Tour of Algeria.