The local cycling governing body (Ferwacy) has insisted that “Team Rwanda will take part in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, unless it’s called off” following Monday’s failed coup in Gabon.
The 2019 edition of the annual Gabonese cycling event is scheduled for January 21-27.
Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, the Ferwacy Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Murenzi, said that “nothing has changed” and riders were continuing their intensive preparations at Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC) in Musanze District.
“Training continues for the riders, and the objective remains to retain the title. Unless the organisers communicate that this year’s edition is no more.”
Team Rwanda’s six riders, led by defending champion Joseph Areruya, have been in intensive preparations at ARCC since last month under the guidance of head coach Sterling Magnell and his assistant, Felix Sempoma.
The team also includes; reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Samuel Mugisha, reigning Tour du Cameroun champion Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, reigning national champion Didier Munyaneza, Jean Claude Uwizeye and youngster Yves Nkurunziza.
A total of 15 teams – ten African national teams and five professional teams – have confirmed to compete at the 14th La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
Full 15-team peloton
National teams: Gabon, Rwanda, Morocco, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mauritius, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Cameroun.
Professional teams: Direct Energie, Vital Concept-B&B Hotels and Arkea-Samsic all from France, Androni Giocatolli from Italy and Pro Touch from South Africa.