Following his breathtaking campaign at the just-concluded 2017 African Continental Championships, Rwanda’s fastest-rising rider, Joseph Areruya, has embarked on yet another journey in search of more continental success, this time with his new UCI continental team, Dimension Data for Qhubeka of South Africa.
The 21-year-old registered a successful campaign after bagging three bronze medals at the seven-day continental event held in Luxor, a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt.
His troph haul in Egypt equalled the total number of medals that the national team ‘Team Rwanda’ collected from the annual competition after fielding seven riders (six male and one female).
The former Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana rider won the first medal along with his compatriots; Valens Ndayisenga, Samuel Mugisha and Jean Bosco Nsengimana in the Team Time Trial (TTT), before winning a similar medal in the Individual Time Trial.
And on the last day on Sunday, Areruya, who was making his second appearance, at the continental competition claimed a third bronze medal in the U23 road race category after a spectacular solo performance that covered a distance of 163.6kilometres.
Now, the Kayonza District-born youngster hopes to make a mark in his first year as a professional cyclist with Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
“After debuting in the previous edition in Morocco where I finished in the fourth place in many competitions, I set a target for this year and I started training hard for this competition. My target was to at least win one medal and, honestly, I can’t be any happier after winning three medals,” said Areruya
From Egypt, Areruya, together with his compatriot Mugisha, will fly back to Cape Town, South Africa to join their new team.
“It’s a very big motivation to me now that I am a professional. I want to prove the same with my team and I hope I can win more with them,” he added
The other riders that had represented Rwanda include Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Team captain), Rene Ukiniwabo and Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu, the only female rider on the team. The team is expected to arrive in the country today