African continental road cycling championship
Individual Time Trial, women (17,2km) -10am
Individual Time Trial, men (33km) -11am
ADRIEN Niyonshuti has set his sights at a top three-finish in today’s 33km Individual Time Trial race, the second stage of this year’s Africa continental road cycling championship.
The 23-year-old rider was deliberately left out of Wednesday’s Team time trial session by Team Rwanda coach, Jonathan Boyer, to conserve his energy for the final two stages where the top two riders automatically qualify for the London 2012 Olympics Games.
“It’s a great challenge and I’m honoured to be part of it,” he said.
“There is a lot at stake and I hope things go according to plan.”
Niyonshuti, who recently signed a new contract with his South African club MTN Energade, expects stiff competition from Energade teammate Janse Van Rensburg Reinardt and the Moroccan pair of Adil Jelloul and Saadoune Abdelaati.
Before leaving South Africa, Rensburg made it clear that he would do his very best to win the road race.
“If I understand correctly, the race will consist of 12-kilometre laps. During each lap we will be challenged by a short, steep climb of about two kilometres. If that is the case, it will suit me to a tee,” he said.
40 cyclists will compete in the men’s category, while the women section will have eight riders. Tour of Kigali winner Diane Uwineza will fly Rwanda’s flag in the women category.
Meanwhile, four-time Tour of Rwanda champion Abraham Ruhumuriza will take no further part in the competition. According to the president of the National Cycling Federation, Aimable Bayingana, the rider has been suspended on grounds of indiscipline.
“He is suspended for defying team orders and is even a doubt for the Tour of Rwanda,” Bayingana said.