RWANDA’s Didier Munyaneza and Joseph Areruya have been included on a raft of 15 celebrated riders on the continent for the African Cyclist of the Year 2019 award.
Areruya, 23, is the title holder. He won the award last December, largely thanks to his victories at the 2017 Tour du Rwanda, the 2018 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo and the inaugural Tour de l’Espoir, held in February 2018.
The fifteen nominees for the coveted award were announced Friday by the organisers of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The winner will be announced on December 18.
The trophy, which was first given out in 2012, aims to reward the cyclist who, through his results on the continent and the rest of the planet, has been the biggest ambassador of African cycling to the world.
Munyaneza made it to the list following his recent impressive run of results on home soil and beyond where, only in the last two months, he won three races – including the historic Tour du Senegal victory a fortnight ago.
A jury chaired by Bernard Hinault, the five-time Tour de France winner, will vote for the successor of Natnael Berhane (2012), Louis Meintjes (2013, 2017), Mekseb Debesay (2014), Daniel Teklehaimanot (2015), Tesfom Okubamariam (2016) and Joseph Areruya (2018).
Areruya is the first and only Rwandan to ever win the award.
The 15 nominees:
Joseph Areruya (Rwanda – Delko Marseille), Basson Gustav (South Africa – Teg), Berhane Natnael (Eritrea – Cofidis), Chokri El Mehdi (Morocco – Dimension Data), Cisse Isiaka (Côte d'Ivoire), Dario Manuel Antonio (Angola – Bai Sicasal), Debesay Yakob (Eritrea)
Girmay Biniam (Eritrea) and Impey Daryl (South Africa – Michelton-Scott).
Others are; Kamzong Clovis (Cameroon – Snh Vélo Club), Kudus Merhawi (Eritrea – Astana), Lagab Azzedine (Algeria – Vib Sports), Didier Munyaneza (Rwanda), Nikiema Bachirou (Burkina Faso) and Reguigui Youcef (Algeria - Terengganu Cycling Team).Follow https://twitter.com/pkamasa