Team Rwanda off to United States for Colorado Classic

Team Rwanda’s six elite riders depart for the United States this afternoon ahead of the second edition of the Colorado Classic race that gets underway Thursday. (File photo)

The 2018 Colorado Classic (2.HC race)

Aug 16

Stage one: Vail (Circuit) (103.2km)

Aug 17

Stage two: Vail (TTT) (15.88km)

Aug 18

Stage three: Denver (161.9km)

Aug 19

Stage four: Denver (114.8km)

Barely less than 24 hours after the conclusion of 2018 Tour du Rwanda, Team Rwanda’s six elite riders depart for the United States this afternoon ahead of the second edition of the  Colorado Classic race that gets underway Thursday.

Led by the national team’s assistant coach Felix Sempoma, the six riders left Kigali International Airport at 3pm aboard Ethiopian Airways for the UCI 2.HC race category scheduled for August 16-19.

Similarly to last year during the inaugural edition of the annual race, Team Rwanda will be the only African team at the four-stage cycling event.

Sempoma’s side is also the sole national team in the fifteen-team peloton in the race.

The fifteen-team lineup includes four UCI World Tour teams, five UCI Professional Continental squads, five UCI Continental teams and one national team – Team Rwanda Cycling.

The six-man Team Rwanda roster include; Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Janvier Hadi and Gasore Hategeka. The latter is the only rider on the team that did not participate in the just concluded Tour du Rwanda.

“We are from a tough race – Tour du Rwanda. But because of the way the Tour was organized, it allowed riders to somehow recover, so the fatigue is not enormous,” said Sempoma.

“Last year was our debut, and it was certainly hard for us. Even placing 15th as a team was surprising, given the level of the race. But this time we are a bit more experienced and we know exactly what to expect, we shall be looking to improve,” he added.

Last year, Team Rwanda finished in 15th position out of the 16 teams that participated.

Jean Claude Uwizeye was Rwanda’s best performer in the 47th spot out of 84 riders who managed to finish the race.

The Colorado Classic is sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and designated as a 2.HC race, the highest category outside of World Tour races. It is also part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, which showcases the premier domestic road events in the United States.

The 2018 men’s race will total 395 kilometres of racing, with over 4,700 metres of climbing.

Manuel Senni who rides for UCI World Tour side, BMC Racing, won last year’s race.

Full 15-team peloton for the race

UCI World Tour teams: Team EF Education First-Drapac P/B Cannondale (USA), Trek-Segafredo (USA), Mitchelton-Scott (AUS) and Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)

UCI Professional Continental teams: Hagens Berman Axeon (USA), Holowesko|Citadel P/B, Arapahoe Resources (USA), Israel Cycling Academy (ISR), UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA) and Rally Cycling (USA)

UCI Continental teams: Aevolo (USA), Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling (USA), Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis (USA), Silber Pro Cycling (CAN) and 303 Project (USA)

National Teams: Team Rwanda Cycling (RWA)

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