The chairman of Rwanda Cycling Federation who also doubles to be the head of event’s organising committee Aimable Bayingana said yesterday that this year’s event promise to be the most competitive since the race was incorporated on the UCI (International cycling Union) calendar in 2009.
“We hope to have many elite teams and riders, a feat which help to increase the level of competitiveness of the race,”
“We are also planning to do our very best and prepare our local team so as to have a a Rwandan lift the event’s title,”added Bayingana to umukino .
Since the race went international, no Rwandan has won it. Morocco’s Adil Jelloul won the race in 2009, while Daniel Teklehaimanot from Eritrea took the 2010 crown, last year; Kiel Reijnen from USA’s Team Type 1 swept the top honours.
But after tasting success in the Kwita Izina international cycling Tour, which was won by veteran rider Abraham Ruhumuriza, becoming the first Rwandan to win an international event and donning the coveted Yellow Jersey, Bayingana says there is no looking back.
Twenty-one teams that include eight professional (teams) have been invited for the race. They include Team Type 1 (USA), MTN Qhubeka (South Africa), Team Quebecor Garneau (Canada), Team Reine Blanche Rhone Alpes (France), and Team Avia Flanders (Belgium).
Others are: Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania, Uganda, while hosts Rwanda will be represented by Team Akagera and Team Karisimbi.
The eight-day event will also be covered by leading media companies like Canal+, Supersport, BBC Africa, RFI, The Guardian, Cycling News, and Sport Brazil.
The course for this year’s Tour of Rwanda remains unchanged as of last year. Riders will traverse through Prologue-Kigali (3km) on November 18; 19th November-Kigali-Nyagatare (151km); 20th November- Kigali –Muhanga (44km) & afternoon Muhanga-Huye (74km); 21st November-Huye-Karongi (150km); 22nd November-Muhanga-Musanze (126km); 23rd November-Musanze-Rubavu (65km); 24th November