It will be a battle of supremacy between home-based riders and foreign-based professionals this weekend as Dimension Data’s Samuel Mugisha eyes his first national championships title.
This year’s national road championships, happening Saturday and Sunday, has attracted a total nine clubs affiliated to Rwanda Cycling Federation – Ferwacy.
While Mugisha has won what many only dream of – the Tour du Rwanda, he is yet to win the national championships and he believes he has a chance to end that jinx at this year’s edition.
Didier Munyaneza is the defending champion, while veteran rider Gasore Hategeka took the 2017 title. Valens Ndayisenga, retired Joseph Biziyaremye and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana were champions from 2014 to 2016, respectively.
In an exclusive interview with this publication on Thursday, Mugisha said he was optimistic about his chances for the title, emphasizing that; “I am always hungry for success, and that motivates me to train and race hard. I hope I end the national championships jinx this weekend.”
In the national road championships, participants vie for honours in three sets; women, juniors and men’s elite & U23 categories. Mugisha will be in the latter.
“It is every rider’s dream to be called national champion; so it’s going to be a tough two days. But I am fit and ready for the challenge,” he added.
The two-day championships comprises the Individual Time Trial (ITT) contests, due Saturday in Nyamata, and the road races in Kigali on Sunday.
The 21-year old Mugisha, Joseph Areruya and Jean Claude Uwizeye, who are the only foreign-based professional riders in the competition, are some of the favourites for the coveted title.