Bela Bela – Polokwane (172km)
Rwanda international Samuel Mugisha is optimistic he will shine with his South African side Dimension Data for Qhubeka at the Tour de Limpopo, a four-day UCI 2.2 Africa Tour race.
The race starts Wednesday, and runs through Saturday in South Africa.
Mugisha, 21, will be leading a five-man DiData line-up that also includes Mulu Hailemichael (Ethiopia), Luca Mozzato (Italy), Matteo Sobrero (Italy) and Martin Laveric (Slovenia).
Hailemichael finished third in general classification during the 2018 Tour du Rwanda, which was claimed by teammate Mugisha, and the duo will lead their teammates in the quest for the club’s third yellow jersey of the race following the 2016 and 2017 triumphs.
“We have upped our level of performance. Considering how we have been riding recently, I think we have a good chance of winning this tour. We know the race is tough, but we are ready for the challenge,” Mugisha told Times Sport in a telephone interview.
The four-stage race has attracted a total of nineteen domestic and international teams, including Rwanda’s first and only UCI-recognized club – Excel Energy Benediction club.
Mugisha noted that his side have prepared well and “the target is to win the race”.
Simon Hupperetz’s Benediction side is fielding a six-man roster that comprises former Tour du Rwanda winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana, reigning Tour du Cameroun champion Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Eric Manizabayo, Didier Munyaneza, Yves Nkurunziza and Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo.
The mix of 18 nationalities will see 64 foreign visitors on South African soil; from Belgium, Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Great Britain, to Malaysia, Brunei, Rwanda, Botswana, Reunion, Namibia and Swaziland to name a few.