Byukusenge names squad for La Francophonie Youth Race

Former Olympian Nathan Byukusenge (C) is junior Team Rwanda’s head coach since 2017. All eyes will be on Jean Eric Habimana (L) with Renus Byiza Uhiriwe (R) not included in the roster. Courtesy.

Junior Team Rwanda head coach Nathan Byukusenge has named squads – boys and girls – ahead of the Francophonie Youth Cycling Race, scheduled for June 2 in Kigali.

The former Rwanda international announced his final 12-member line-up, six boys and six girls, on Monday.

“Some of the youngsters will be marking their first international race. It’s a good debut since they will be racing in front of home fans. We have between now and Saturday to get them ready and confident for a shining performance,” said the 2016 Mountain Bike Olympian.

Five countries; Burundi, Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire and the hosts Rwanda, have confirmed their participation at the one-day race.

He added, “They (riders) are all at a good level of fitness. We are going to be focusing more on their mental strength and tactical aspect of their game this week.”

“The race will be a good opportunity for our young riders to show what they have in their legs and minds. They are up for the challenge,” he noted

The event is under the patronage of Union Francophone de Cyclisme (UFC), which is chaired by Aimable Bayingana, president of the local cycling governing body – Ferwacy.

Boys will ride a total 87.5km distance, while the girls will be pedaling 60km.

Bayingana was elected as the second UFC president last October, replacing Moroccan Maître Mohammed Ben El Mahi who had been at its helm since the organisation’s establishment in 2014.

The Union Francophone de Cyclisme has 33 national member federations from French-speaking countries.

Squads:

Girls: Diane Ishimwe, Claudette Nyirarukundo, Violette Irakoze Neza, Xaveline Nirere, Arnie Irakoze and Clementine Uwamahoro.

Boys:Jean Eric Habimana, Eric Muhoza, Barnabe Gahemba, Jean Baptiste Nsabimana, Jean Bosco Hatekimana and Felicien Hakizimana.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com