RWANDA’s ace cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti says his preparation for this week’s UCI African Cycling Championship has been ‘near –perfect’.
The South-Africa based rider will lead Team Rwanda in the four-day event which paces off tomorrow in Eritrea’s Res Sea state.
“It’s been a near-perfect plan. Everything’s in place now and I must say I’m happy with my physical condition,” he said.
“I’ve worked hard the last two, three weeks and feel more prepared to compete than last year,” Niyonshuti, who successfully defended his Tour of Kigali title, last week, added.
The other riders on the team include Gasore Hategeka, Nicodem Habiyambere, Nathan Byukusenge and Joseph Bizimuremyi.
While stressing that he is desperate to improve on last year’s eighth spot finish, Niyonshuti conceded that last year’s winner Daniel Teklehaimanot remains the odds-on favorite to win the race.
The Eritrean stormed to last year’s title after edging his compatriot Meron Russom and Namibia’s Dan Craven. Niyonshuti finished eighth following mechanical failure.
Teklehaimanot also clocked 44:37 to win the individual time trial ahead of South Africa’s Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg and Azzedine Lagab of Algeria. Niyonshuti, who was two minutes and 24 seconds off the pace, followed in fourth place.
Other countries in contention, this year, include Algeria, Morocco, South Africa and Egypt.
Team Rwanda is using the championship as a build-up to the prestigious Tour of Rwanda slated for later this month.