Tour du Rwanda routes
Prologue stage, Nov. 13: Amahoro Stadium-Amahoro Stadium (3.3km)
Stage 1, Nov.14: Kigali-Ngoma (96.4km)
Stage 2, Nov. 15: Kigali Convention center-Karongi (124.7km)
Stage 3, Nov. 16: Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km)
Stage 4, Nov. 17 Rusizi-Huye (140.7km)
Stage 5, Nov. 18 Muhanga-Musanze (125.8km)
Stage 6, Nov. 19 Musanze-Kigali Regional Stadium (103.9km)
Stage 7, Nov. 20 Kigali Amahoro Stadium-Kigali Amahoro Stadium (108.0km)
Seventeen teams have been confirmed to compete at this year’s eighth edition of the Tour du Rwanda scheduled to be staged from November 13 to November 20, 2016.
The development was confirmed on Tuesday by the local cycling body FERWACY noting that the eighth edition is expected to attract 17 teams, comprising five riders each, totaling to 85 riders competing for the top prize.
Rwanda will be represented by three teams namely; Team Rwanda, Rubavu Club Benediction and Rwamagana Sports Club friends.
This will be different from the previous editions where Rwanda was always represented by three teams of Karasimbi, Muhabura and Akagera. Team Karisimbi through Valens Ndayisenga and Jean Bosco Nsengimana have won the previous two editions of Tour du Rwanda.
The national team confirmed the event include South Africa, Ethiopia, Eitreat, Egypt and Algeria respectively.
Just like last year, six professional teams will be maintained for this year’s edition. The six are; Dimension Data for Qhubeka (South-Africa), Kenya Riders Downunder (Kenya), Sharjah Cycling Team (United Arab Emirates), Cycling Academy Team (Israel), Tirol Cycling Team (Austria) and Stradalli Bike Aid (Germany).
Other teams include; Team Lowestrates.com (Canada), Team Haute-Savoie Rhone-Alpes (France) and Team Furniture Decarte (Switzerland) respectively.
The Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) chairman, Aimable Bayingana said recently that they are prepared to host a successful event this year.
“We want to have better event than previously. We have started preparations early enough and we believe we will be able to have a wonderful race,”
He added, “We believe the competition will be better and we believe event will be more precious than what we have organised before. The national team will be ready for the challenge,” added Bayingana.
In 2014, Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan rider to win the Tour du Rwanda since its inception on the UCI Africa calendar in 2009, and was dethroned by teammate, Nsengimana.
However, both riders have since joined professional teams—the former signing for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka team while the latter, joined Germany-based Team Bike Aid thus won’t ride for Rwanda at this year’s event.
Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan cyclist to win the Tour du Rwanda since its inception on the 2.2 Union Cycliste Internationale Africa calendar in 2009.
Meanwhile, last year’s Tour du Rwanda defending champion, Jean Bosco Nsegimana will not ride for Team Rwanda after joining professional side Team Bike Aid.
The annual Tour du Rwanda international cycling event will for the first time reach the far southern part of the country following the addition of two new routes; Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km) as the annual event passes through Rwanda’s vast tropical rainforest of Nyungwe.