TWO JUNIOR female riders, Valentine Nzayisenga and Jeanette Manishimwe, have joined another pair of riders in residential camp at Golden Tulip Hotel in Bugesera as Team Rwanda intensify preparations for the 14th African Continental Road Championships scheduled for February 13-18 in Rwanda.
The two join Samantha Mushimiyimana and Violette Irakoze Neza and are expected to compete in junior women’s Team Time Trial (TTT) on February 14.
The junior women’s TTT race covers a total 18.6 kilometers, the same distance as their junior men’s TTT. Team Rwanda’s junior men’s roster is comprised of Jean Eric Habimana, Yves Nkurunziza, Barnabé Gahemba, and Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo.
The 2018 African championship is a good test for Team Rwanda as they seek to cement a spot among Africa’s finest cycling teams. Rwanda will be represented by 20 cyclists: eight U23 & Elite men, four senior female riders, four junior female riders, and four junior male riders respectively.
Rwandan cyclists have won a combined seven medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals, the most recent having come last year when the quartet of Valens Ndayisenga, Joseph Areruya, Samuel Mugisha and Jean Bosco Nsengimana finished third in Elite Men’s Team Time Trial.
Former Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider Adrien Niyoshuti scooped two bronze medals at the 2009 edition in U23 men’s ITT and U23 road race.
Female cycling icon Jean d’Arc Girubuntu is the country’s only woman so far to have won a silver medal in U23 women’s ITT – at the 2015 edition in Morocco.