Team Rwanda Cycling head coach sterling Magnell has hailed first-rising rider Joseph Areruya and backed him for a great future following his astonishing performance at the just concluded 2017 African Continental Championships.
The South Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider, made his second appearance at the continental show piece that was held in Luxor, Egypt, from February 19-20.
However, the 21-year-old highly-rated sprinter seemed as if he had been there for quite number of times mainly because of the way he stole the show in taking three bronze medals in the Team Time Trial, Individual Time Trial and U23 road race.
His trophy haul in Luxor equaled the total number of medals that the national team of six riders (five male and one female) collected from the competition.
“I think the whole team performed extremely well, everyone put in 100% and I don’t think our medal count reflects exactly how they all performed. I am really impressed,” Magnell said upon the team’s return home on Monday.
Asked specifically about Areruya, the American trainer revealed that: “I continue to be impressed by Areruya’s tenacity to always make it work no matter how bad the situation, so I am excited to see what he does in his first year as a professional.”
Areruya’s achievement immediately bore fruits as he improved from 11th place to second place in the UCI Individual Elite Men Africa Tour Rankings with a total of 270 points.
This is the best ever ranking for a Rwandan rider after Janvier Hadi’s (now retired) record in December, 2015, who became the first Rwandan to make it into the top ten.
Areruya is just ten points behind South Africa’s Willem Jakobus Smit while in third place is Moroccan Ahmed Amine Galdoune with 269 points.
The Kayonza-born rider is currently in South Africa along with his compatriot Samuel Mugisha, who both signed a one-year contract with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka until the end of 2017.