Tour du Cameroun: Team Rwanda riders begin quest for title defence

Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, 26, held on to his Stage 5 victory to win the 2018 Tour du Cameroun. File.


Stage 1

Akonolinga    –       Abong Mbang (136km)

BONAVENTURE Uwizeyimana and his Team Rwanda teammates hit the road Saturday as they look to win the Tour du Cameroun for a second successive year.

Uwizeyimana, 26, who leads Team Rwanda’s six-man lineup, claimed the race’s Yellow Jersey last year after using the least time of 21 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds. He was, and remains, the only Rwandan to ever win the race.

First runner-up Martin Haring, featuring for Slovak side Dukla Banská Bystrica, finished 3 minutes and 38 seconds behind the champion.

Under the tutelage of Felix Sempoma, the team left Kigali for the eight-stage UCI 2.2 Africa Tour race Thursday and was due to hold a warm-up training session on Friday ahead of Saturday’s stage 1.

The opening stage rolls off in Akonolinga where the riders will tussle it out on a 136km distance before crossing the finish-line in Abong Mbang town, in the country’s Eastern Province.

Totaling 1140 km of distance; the longest stage of the 2019 Tour du Cameroun is stage 5, a 174km distance from Kribi to Douala, while the shortest is the 7th, from Loum to Dschang, covering 112km.

Besides the defending champion, Uwizeyimana, the Team Rwanda roster in Cameroun also comprises Eric Manizabayo, Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo, Jean Damascene Ruberwa, Moise Mugisha and Patrick Byukusenge.

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