2017 Tour du Rwanda stages
Nov. 12: Prologue: 3.3km
Nov. 13: Stage 1 Kigali-Huye 120.3km+ 4 categorized climbs
Nov. 14: Stage 2 Nyanza- Rubavu 180km+ 6 categorized climbs
Nov. 15: Stage 3 Rubavu-Musanze 95km+ 1 massive categorized climb
Nov. 16: Stage 4 Musanze-Nyamata 121km+ 4 categorized climbs
Nov. 17: Stage 5 Nyamata-Rwamagana 93.1km+ 3 categorized climbs
Nov. 18: Stage 6 Kayonza-Kigali 86.3km+ 4 categorized climbs (including the infamous “Mur de Kigali”)
Nov. 19: Stage 7 Kigali-Kigali 120km+ 10 categorized climbs (one per lap of the circuit)
Germany’s UCI Continental Team Bike Aid have vowed to win their first Tour du Rwanda title this year. According to the team coordinator, Timo Schäfer, winning the race is one of their key targets.
“Tour du Rwanda is one of the most important races for us in Africa and we come this year with highest ambitions to challenge for the General Classification (GC),” Schäfer told Times Sport on Wednesday.
Schäfer noted that: “Tour du Rwanda means a lot to us and is a very special race in our schedule. In 2014, we won the Individual ranking (KOM) of the UCI Africa tour with Mekseb Debesay (now Team Dimension Data) and also in 2015 we won 2 stages.”
The 9th edition of Tour du Rwanda will get underway from November 12 to 19 and has attracted a total of 17 teams including six national teams, six UCI Continental teams and five club teams.
Bike Aid have been regular participants since making their debut in 2014 and they have won a combined four stages and the 2014 King Of the Mountains (KOM) jersey which all came courtesy of Eritrean Mekseb Debesay, who currently rides for Team Dimension Data of South Africa.
Schäfer confirmed to Times Sport a roster of five riders that will be vying for the team’s first ever general classification glory, however the list does not include Timothy Rugg, who stunningly won two stages last year with Canada’s LowestRates.ca Cycling Team.
The roster is led by German Nikodemus Holler, winner of 2017 Tour of Cameroon, 2017 Tour of Poyang Lake (China) and finished third at this year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, Gabon.
Others are; Dutch Adne van Engelen, who won the 2016 Romsee-Stavelot (Belgium) and finished at 2017, Tour of Cameroon, Kenyans Salim Kipkemboi (finished second in youth classification at 2017 Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania), Suleiman Kangangi (finished third at Tour of Poyang Lake) and Geoffrey Langat.
“The riders are currently preparing differently. The Kenyans are training at our common development and training base in Iten, Kenya, while the European riders currently are shaping up in Spain (Mallorca),” he further disclosed.
Last year, 2015 champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana finished in the ninth place as Bike Aid’s best rider in five minutes and three seconds behind overall winner, Valens Ndayisenga, who was riding for Team Dimension Data of South Africa.