Team Rwanda gears up for African champs

Two-time Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga, seen here in action during the 2018 African Continental Road Championships in Kigali, will lead Team Rwanda in Ethiopia. Sam Ngendahimana.

Team Rwanda riders have stepped up intensive preparations ahead of the 2019 African Continental Road Championships that are set for March 15-20 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

It will be the 14th edition of the annual event since its inauguration in 2005.

The best cyclists from across Africa will next week be making their way to the continent’s biggest cycling event for national teams. Rwanda hosted the 2018 edition.

Speaking to Saturday Sport on Friday, the junior (boys and girls) and elite women’s team coach Nathan Byukusenge said that the preparations were ‘perfectly’ going well and he looked forward an impressive outing for his riders in Ethiopia.

“Our preparations are perfectly going on well, and the riders in great shape. In Addis Ababa, we will be up against the best riders in Africa, but we are confident about our ability,” said Byukusenge who represented the country in Mountain Bike at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Byukusenge said that there has been notable improvement since the riders reported to Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC), in Musanze, and is confident of winning medals in Ethiopia.

“We are optimistic and determined to challenge for medals, we started preparations early and the riders have greatly improved since hosting the 2018 championships,” he added.

The elite men’s team will be under the tutelage of American trainer Sterling Magnell, and all his four riders are fresh from competing at the recently concluded 2019 Tour du Rwanda.

The team will depart Kigali Tuesday night aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight.

The week-long multi-category event comprises the Team Time Trial (TTT), the Individual Time Trial (ITT) and road race in male (juniors and elites) and women’s (juniors and elites) categories.

Full list of riders in camp:


Juniors:Diane Ingabire

Seniors:Jacqueline Tuyishimire, Beatha Ingebire, Genevieve Mukundente and Oliver Izerimana


Juniors:Jean Eric Habimana, Leones Uhirirwe Byiza, Bernabe Gahemba and Eric Umuhoza

Seniors:Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Moise Mugisha and Eric Manizabayo