The much anticipated Tour de Rwanda cycling championship gets underway today at Amahoro national stadium.
This year’s event will cover Provinces of the country, covering a total distance of 1,233 kilometers.
The annual championship entering it’s13th edition is expected to be flagged off by Youth, Culture and Sport, Joseph Habineza. The tour’s first session will cover 324km from Kigali to Rubavu of the Northern Province where the riders will spend a night before returning to Kigali tomorrow. On August 8, the tour will stretch for 126kn to Karongi in Western Province after where the cyclists will take on the 152 km ride from Karongi to Huye district in the Southern Province on August 9.
The next day, August 10, riders will ride from Huye back to Kigali in a distance that will cover 136km.
On August 12, they will break off to compete in what is dubbed as ‘Time Control Tour’, which will see them ride a total of 100km to Rusine in Byumba and back to Kigali. The Tour will continue on August 13 when competitors ride to eastwards 172 km to Nyagatare from where they will make 127km ride from Nyagatare to Ngoma the next day on August 14. On the final day, August 15, the competitors will ride 100km from Ngoma to Kigali.
Rwanda’s cycling icon, Abraham Ruhumuriza is the two-time defending champion after winning both the 2006 and 2005 events respectively.
Tour de Rwanda is expected to attract over 60 riders including foreigners from neighboring countries. And Charles Kamanda, president of Rwanda Cycling Union (RCU) told Times Sport yesterday that foreign countries that include Uganda and Burundi have sent their representatives to take part in the event.
This year’s Tour de Rwanda will cost more than Frw20 million according to the budget which was set by the Cycling federation.
Only MTN Rwanda and Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport are the only official sponsors who pledged to sponsor the event by press time.