La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2019 to visit Equatorial Guinea

Joseph Areruya (centre) celebrates after winning the 13th edition of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo earlier this year in Libreville, Gabon. File photo.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2019 roadmap

January 21
Stage 1: Bongoville – Moanda

January 22
Stage 2: Franceville – Okondja

January 23
Stage 3: Léconi – Franceville

January 24
Stage 4: Mitzic – Oyem

January 25
Stage 5: Bitam – Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea)

January 26
Stage 6: Bitam – Oyem

January 27
Stage 7: Nkok – Libreville

The 14th edition of Gabonese cycling event La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is due to start on January 21, 2019 and for the first time the race will visit neighbouring Equatorial Guinea.

Running from January 21 through Jan 27, the annual Africa’s most famous race, will be the first event on Africa Tour line-up and only the 10th official race on the International Cycling Union (UCI) world calendar.

The route will start from Bongoville, south east of the country, unlike the 2018 edition when the race started from Kango town in the West.

The principle of annual alternation guided the organisers to offer the Big Start, sometimes in the north of the country, sometimes in the south. This time, the southern province of Haut-Ogooué will have the honour of launching the festivities with three stages in the program including an unprecedented route between Franceville and Okondja that has never been raced in this way.

Bongoville town, a terrain that is predominantly hilly, will host the start of the first stage.

Since 2009, La Tropicale had not rallied the South and North of Gabon during the same edition, it will be again the case next year, the caravan and riders will be joined by air and rail the province of Woleu-Ntem where they will enjoy a historic incursion to Equatorial Guinea.

The 5th stage will cross after a departure from Bitam, the roads of Cameroon, to reach Mongomo in Equatorial Guinea. This passage of the race with its neighbors proves all the vigor and notoriety of the Gabonese event, known for being the showcase of African cycling.

With three provinces crossed, the Haut-Ogooué, Woleu-Ntem and the Estuary for the final arrival in Libreville, plus two neighboring countries visited, the 14th edition of La Tropicale will further symbolize the geographical dimension of the ‘Petite Reine’ in Africa.

As previously experienced in the past editions, the organizers have not hesitated to step out of classical frameworks to offer four unprecedented stages on the seven-day race.

Mitzic-Oyem and Franceville-Okondja have never been ridden in this way, Mongomo in Equatorial Guinea will be a great discovery, as will the departure of the last stage located about thirty kilometers from Libreville, in Nkok, the economic zone in full development.

The 2019 edition of the annual event, which was inaugurated in 2006, will have more than 800 kilometers of racing.

Rwanda’s France-based Joseph Areruya is the reigning champion of the UCI 2.1 category race.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw 

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