Rwanda’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider, Samuel Mugisha is determined to forge a long and successful professional career in Europe.
The 19-year-old lost his mother in a tragic traffic accident two months ago and while he could have been excused from lining out at his national tour, Mugisha pinned on his race numbers in memory and honour of his late mother.
Late last month, Mugisha won the longest race of the 2017 Rwanda Cycling Cup, 180-kilometres from Nyanza to Rubavu, and afterwards dedicated his victory to his mother who “always encouraged me to ride my bike and work hard,” he said at the time.
Mugisha explained in an interview with Cyclingnews, that his role at the Tour du Rwanda, which started on Nov. 12 and ran through Nov. 18, tour was to support his teammates and continue to honour the memory of his mother.
“My dream is to work hard for a big team in Europe and also to win some stages in Europe. My dream is to ride in the Tour de France one day,” he said.
Mugisha’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s teammates Joseph Areruya and Metkel Eyob dominated this year’s Tour du Rwanda—the duo finished one-two in General Classification.
“I felt strong and good to help my teammates. Sometimes in cycling you feel bad or good but we were ready to help Joseph win,” said Mugisha.
Mugisha rose to prominence at the 2016 edition of his national race with victory in the king of the mountains classification.
His performance in the 2016 Tour du Rwanda helped Mugisha secure his first Continental contract with the Dimension Data feeder team and a season primarily of Italian racing.
He also made his Worlds debut, making the major break of the U23 road race before finishing with a DNF against his name.
Mugisha added that crowds each day “give us more energy. Some of the places we go, everyone is saying ‘go, go’ and it gives you the emotion to go hard.”