Cycling team heads to Egypt for continental road race

The national cycling team (Team Rwanda) will travel to Egypt today afternoon (4:05pm) aboard Qatar Airways ahead of the 2017 African Continental Road Championships slated for February 14-19 in Luxor.
Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu (L) and Valens Ndayisenga will lead Team Rwanda's charge for medals. (S Ngendahimana)
Jeanne d'Arc Girubuntu (L) and Valens Ndayisenga will lead Team Rwanda's charge for medals. (S Ngendahimana)

The national cycling team (Team Rwanda) will travel to Egypt today afternoon (4:05pm) aboard Qatar Airways ahead of the 2017 African Continental Road Championships slated for February 14-19 in Luxor.

The delegation to Luxor will comprise seven riders, six male and one female, accompanied by their head coach Sterling Magnell and Theoneste Karasira, who is responsible for the team’s equipment as well as Soigneur, Obed Ruvogera (responsible for feeding, clothing, massaging, and escorting riders).

However, five riders (three male and one female) will set off from Kigali to Luxor where they will be joined by the other two; Samuel Mugisha and Joseph Areruya, who are training with new Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in Cape Town, South Africa.

The other four male riders include; the reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga, who is set to join Austria Team Tirol Cycling; Jean Bosco Nsengimana; Bonaventure Uwizeyimana and Rene Ukiniwabo.

Rwanda’s most decorated female rider Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu will again represent the country in the women’s category.

“We wanted to arrive in Luxor a few days earlier in a bid to familiarize with the weather conditions and the race course,” Magnell told Times Sport in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

The American trainer further stressed that; “That will allow us set targets for the race day. I am confident we are well prepared and ready for competition.”

Team Rwanda will be seeking to repeat or even improve last year’s performance when they scooped three medals, one gold and two silvers, which was Rwanda’s best performance at this competition.

Race schedule

According to the event schedule, the Elite-Men and U23 road races will start on February 19 covering a distance of 163.6 kilometres.

The Team Time Trial (TTT) is slated for February 14 and will cover 57.8 Kilometres. In this category, Rwanda will be represented by Ndayisenga, Nsengimana, Areruya and Mugisha.

Ndayisenga and Areruya will also compete in the Individual Time Trial category, while Girubuntu will contest in the Women Elite Road Race and Individual Time Trial.

The 21-year-old will be in action on February 16, for the ITT that will cover 25.8 kilometres before competing in the road race scheduled for February 18, covering a distance of 99.6 kilometres.

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