Junior & Women 9am
Nyamata - Muhanga - 81km
Elite Men & U23 9:30am
Nemba - Muhanga 115km
It will be a battle for supremacy among the trio of Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Jean Claude Uwizeye as the Rwanda Cycling Cup 2017 resumes today with the Central Challenge race. The race will start in Nemba, Bugesera District, go through the City of Kigali and end in Muhanga.
Among the pre-race favourites is the two-time Tour du Rwanda champion Ndayisenga (2014 & 2016) and Nsengimana, the 2015 winner. Uwizeye is another rider not to count out of race contenders.
The three have all won one race already and should any of them claim today’s 115 kilometre race, he would become the first rider to win two races in this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup.
Nsengimana won the first race of the season, the Memorial Lambert Byemayire; Uwizeye took the Farmers’ Circuit, while Ndayisenga clinched the Race for Culture.
The reigning national champion Gasore Hategeka and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, winner of Race to Remember, are among the other contenders.
The Central Challenge race has attracted 70 riders, including 38 in Elite Men & U23 category, 22 in Men’s junior category and 10 in women’s fray.
The junior and women category will set off from Nyamata town in Bugesera district at 9am and will race over a distance of 81 kilometres, while the Elite Men & U23 will cover a total of 115km from Nemba at Rwanda - Burundi border, through Kigali and end in Muhanga town.
Gasore, who is fresh from competing in the Meles Zenawi Race for Green Development in Eritrea, is the Central Challenge defending champion. Béathe Nirere is the title holder in women’s category.
However, the women’s race this year will be without star rider Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu, who has been out most of this season due to injury. She was forced to abandon the Race for Culture after 40 kilometres last month.
The Central Challenge is the 7th race of the Rwanda Cycling Cup after the Memorial Lambert Byemayire, Farmers’ Circuit, Race to Remember, National Championships (Individual Time Trial and National Road Race) and the Race for Culture.