Full race roadmap
Stage one: Douala – Douala (92km)
Stage two: Yaoundé –Nanga– Eboko (152km)
Stage three: Yaoundé – Ebolowa (151km)
Stage four: Samgmélima – Meyomessala (134km)
Stage five: Sangmélima – Yaoundé (170km)
THE NATIONAL cycling team, Team Rwanda, is in Cameroonian southwest coastal city of Douala where they are set to compete in this year’s Grand Prix Chantal Biya.
The 2018 edition of the annual event starts Wednesday and will run through September 30.
Team Rwanda line-up, under the guidance of Felix Sempoma, left the country on Monday aboard a RwandAir flight.
The five-rider team will have a warm-up training session today to acclimatise to the environment ahead of event.
Before jetting off yesterday, Sempoma told Times Sport that his side’s mission in Cameroon is to stretch Team Rwanda’s dominance in UCI Africa Tour races. Rwandans have won four out five races they have competed in recently on the continent.
“The target is to come back with the title. Last year we were not invited possibly because we give the hosts a run for their money, we have proved to be a major threat to everyone in continental races. The boys are ready, and determined to win,” he said.
The four races that Team Rwanda’s riders have won this year include; La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon and Tour de l’Espoir in Cameroon, both by Areruya, and Tour du Cameroun, which was claimed by Bonaventure Uwizeyimana.
Samuel Mugisha, 20, claimed the 10th edition of Tour du Rwanda last month.
The contingent representing the country in Grand Prix Chantal Biya is led by experienced duo of former Tour du Rwanda champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Uwizeyimana.
They will be chasing for Rwanda’s first title of the race along with a trio of youngsters; Janvier Rugamba, Eric Manizabayo, and Michel Uwiduhaye.
Nsengimana is the sole rider on the team with a Grand Prix Chantal Biya stage win.
During the 2016 race, Team Rwanda finished second in team classification, behind Cameroon’s SNH Vélo Club. Nsengimana was Rwanda’s best rider, in 11th place, in general classification and third in the Under-23 category.
Then riding for German side Stradalli Bike Aid, Nsengimana put up a commanding performance to win Stage 4 while then 18-year old Samuel Mugisha finished third in the stage.
At their debut appearance, in 2015, Team Rwanda also finished second, behind Morocco.