Team Rwanda riders hit the road for GP Chantal Biya glory

Team Rwanda’s, L-R, Janvier Rugamba , Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana. Sam Ngendahimana.

Wednesday

Stage one: Douala – Douala (92km)

Sept. 27
Stage two: Yaoundé – Nanga–Eboko (152km)

Sept. 28
Stage three: Yaoundé – Ebolowa (151km)

Sept. 29
Stage four: Samgmélima – Meyomessala (134km)

Sept. 30
Stage five: Sangmélima – Yaoundé (170km)

Team Rwanda riders will today begin their quest for what would be their first Grand Prix Chantal Biya title when the 2018 edition of the annual event gets underway in Douala, Cameroon.

The 2.2 UCI Africa Tour road race starts today, in Southwest of the Central African country, and will run until September 30 with a total of fifteen teams in the peloton.

The five-day event will cover a distance of 699 kilometres, and Felix Sempoma’s men will be aiming to yet again stretch their dominance on continental scene. Team Rwanda returns to the race after missing last year’s edition as the country was not invited.

Chantal Biya GP remains one of the few races on the continent where Rwandan cyclists have always struggled, having only won one stage in it, Stage 4, during the 2016 edition – through Jean Bosco Nsengimana.

The 2015 Tour du Rwanda champion and former Germany’s Stradalli Bike Aid rider, Nsengimana, who leads Team Rwanda in this year’s edition, is the sole rider on the team with a Grand Prix Chantal Biya stage win.

“The target in Cameroon is to fight and win the race. We have been here before, and understand well the stiffness of this competition. However, we have won even tougher races and, as Team Rwanda, we want to maintain our winning streak,” Nsengimana told Times Sport in a telephone interview yesterday from Cameroon.

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.

In today’s Stage 1, riders will be doing a circuit race around the City of Douala, which will cover a total distance of 92 kilometres.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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