The national cycling team (Team Rwanda) has been invited to participate in the inaugural Colorado Classic bicycle race in the USA. It will be the first appearance for Rwandan riders to participate in a category 2.HC International Cycling Union (UCI) race.
The event is slated for August 10-13 in Colorado and will attract UCI World Tour teams, UCI Professional Continental Teams and UCI Continental Teams. Team Rwanda is so far the only national team confirmed to take part in the four-stage race.
Team Rwanda roster will comprise six riders led by reigning national champion Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who is currently in Canada with Lowestrates.Ca as a guest rider, Jean Claude Uwizeye (silver medalist in the U23 category at African Continental Championships).
Others are; 2015 Tour du Rwanda champion, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and 2016 Rwanda Cycling Cup champion, Gasore Hategeka as well as youngsters Rene Jean Paul Ukiniwabo and Didier Munyaneza.
The team is scheduled to leave the country on July 13 and will compete in the Cascade Cycling Classic scheduled for July 19-23 as tune-up to the Colorado Classic.
Team Rwanda founder and technical director, Jonathan ‘Jock’ Boyer, now based in US revealed that; “I feel that the Colorado Classic is more than just significant, it demonstrates a new chapter for Team Rwanda.”
“Ten years ago, we (Team Rwanda) came to America to race our first races and we were ‘neophytes.’ Now, we are coming as legitimate competitors, who have earned their place in the professional peloton,” he noted.
Courses announced last week show riders will cover 313 miles (503.5 km) and endure more than 20,000 feet of intense, high-altitude climbing in stages being held in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver.
A total of 15 teams have so far been confirmed to participate and they include four UCI World Tour teams namely; BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Drapac Professional Cycling Team, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.
It will also attract five UCI Professional Continental Teams that include; Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Israel Cycling Academy, Nippo-Vini Fantini, Team Novo Nordisk and United Healthcare Professional Cycling Team.
There are also five UCI Continental Teams that include Axeon Hagens Berman, Elevate – KHS, Holowesko/Citadel Racing p/b Hincapie Sportswear, Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and Rally Cycling plus Team Rwanda as the only national team.