Individual Time Trial - Nyamata
Elites & U23: 20.9kmx2=41.8km
Road Race: Ngoma-Kigali+circuit
Juniors: Ngoma-Kigali 99.5km
Elite & U23: Ngoma-Kigali + circuit (7 laps)
99.5km + (12.5x7) =187km
Women: Ngoma-Kigali: 99.5km
It will be a battle for supremacy between Rwanda’s top two cyclists Adrien Niyonshuti and Valens Ndayisenga in this year’s national championship Individual Time Trial (ITT) race that will be held in Nyamata, Bugesera district.
The two cyclists, who all come from Rwamagana district and passed through Les Amis Sportif before reaching the professional level, arrived in the country early this week from their respective clubs to participate in what is expected to be a thrilling race.
The national championship is comprised of two races namely; the Individual Time Trial (ITT) and the Road Race, which will start form Ngoma town in Eastern Province heading to Kigali on Sunday.
The duo has made it clear that winning the ITT is their top priority with reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Ndayisenga eyeing his third title and hoping to dethrone defending champion Niyonshuti.
Speaking to Saturday Sport, Ndayisenga, who currently rides for Austria’s UCI club Tirol Cycling team said that, “The national championship is a very big race but I prefer the ITT because you race against time and your opponents.”
“I really need this title very much, I know how difficult it is to win with Nyonshuti and Nsengimana all available however, I’ m in a good shape and ready to fight for it,” noted the two-time Tour du Rwanda winner.
The reigning Tour du Rwanda champion and winner of gold medal in the U-23 ITT at 2016 African Continental Championships won the national championship in 2014 and 2015 before Niyonshuti dethroned him last year.
In a separate interview, two-time Olympian (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Niyonshuti also revealed that; “I really feel good and ready to defend my title. I have been following the progress of some of young boys here and I expect a tough challenge.”
The race will have three categories namely; Juniors, Elites and U23 as well as women.
The juniors will do two laps of 12.5 kilometres covering a distance of 25 kilometres, same distance as the women, while the elite men & U23 will peddle 20.9 kilometres over two laps covering 41.8 kilometres.
Niyonshuti won last year’s edition after covering the 40.6 kilometres in 54 minutes and 17 seconds beating his closest rival Ndayisenga by two minutes and 32 seconds, while Bonaventure Uwizeyimana finished third.
Uwizeyimana, currently features for Canada’s Lowestrates.Ca cycling team as a guest rider and is the reigning champion in the Road race category, however; he will not come to defend his title.