SACA ‘very ready’ for Tour du Rwanda debut, says Niyonshuti

Adrien Niyonshuti represented Rwanda twice at the Olympic Games (2012, 2016) during his professional cycling career before venturing into coaching. / File.

First-time participants Skol Adrien Niyonshuti Cycling Academy (SACA) have confirmed their final five-man roster for the Tour du Rwanda 2020 ahead of the February 23 kick-off.

The race will run through March 1 across the country, with the 16-team peloton riding a total distance of 889 kilometres over eight stages.

SACA are one of the three teams representing Rwanda in this year’s race, along with Rubavu-based Ignite Benediction Club and the national team.

Under the tutelage of two-time Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti, SACA’s line-up will be led by Rwanda international Moise Mugisha, a gold medallist at the 2019 African Continental Road Championships.

Speaking to Times Sport on Monday, Niyonshuti, who won the last Tour du Rwanda edition as an amateur race in 2008, said that his team had been training hard and looked forward to a shining debut.

“We have been training hard in roads that the race will use, the boys are very ready for the race. The target is to challenge for the podium positions, but the experience we will earn is even more valuable,” he said.

Besides Mugisha, the Skol Brewery-sponsored side’s roster also includes Jean Eric Habimana, Seth Hakizimana, Shemu Nsengiyumva and Ally Dukuzumuremyi.

“Everyone at the club is excited that we are making our debut in Tour du Rwanda. We want to give a chance to our young riders and prove that we can compete at the highest level,” Niyonshuti further added.

Last week, SACA and Ignite Benediction Club joined Team Rwanda at the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC) in Musanze District for final-touch preparations.

Team Rwanda is coached by Sterling Magnell, while Felix Sempoma will be in charge of Benediction.

By press time Monday, Ignite Benediction Club were yet to announce their final roster.

Team Rwanda:

Joseph Areruya, Samuel Mugisha, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Bernabe Gahemba, and Jean Claude Uwizeye.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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