Tour du Rwanda tournament has secured Rwf70m more to make it Rwf500m from Rwf430m of 2016.
Aimable Bayingana, Rwanda Cycling Federation President said that the competition’s budget has risen due to the increase in number of sponsors.
”Tour du Rwanda 2017 is bigger and better. Everything is now ready,” he said.
The competition will also be covered by global media such as TV5, Canal + and Super Sport among others.
A proud achievement
Aimable Bayingana said that besides the fact that Tour du Rwanda is known as the cycling competition that is very well organized and secure, Ferwacy is very proud to have upgraded Tour du Rwanda from UCI 2.2 category to 2.1 [the highest category on the continental level] like the Tour La Tropicale Amissa Bongo tour).
“From 2019, only after 10 years, Tour du Rwanda will have advanced to the first category while there are other races like Tour du Faso that have been there for more than 30 years and they have not yet been upgraded. It is a thing we, as Rwandans, are very much proud of”.
Besides, Bayingana said that the competition has changed the lives of Rwandan riders as some of them have signed contracts to ride for UCI international cycling clubs.
”For instance, Valens Ndayisenga will be competing for the Austrian team while Joseph Areruya and Samuel Mugisha will feature for the South African club Dimension Data For Qhubeka”, he explained.
Can a Rwandan rider win Tour du Rwanda again?
Since Tour du Rwanda was internationalized in 2009, Rwandans have won it three times. It was in the first years dominated by foreigners among them Algerians, Moroccans and Eritreans before Valens Ndayisenga as a first Rwandan to win it in 2014.
Ndayisenga won it again in 2016, setting a record, the first rider to scoop Tour du Rwanda [international version] more than once.
Meanwhile, another Rwandan who was crowned as winner of Tour du Rwanda is Jean Bosco Nsengimana. That was in 2015.
While Jean Bosco Nsengimana will feature for Rwanda National Team, Valens Ndayisenga will be competing for Tirol Cycling Team from Austria.
However, hope is that the competition’s yellow jersey will stay in Rwanda as it has been in the last three competitions according to FERWACY President Aimable Bayingana.
“They (Rwandan riders) were well trained, they are now fully equipped and mentally ready to perform well. Jean Bosco Nsengimana or Patrick Byukusenge are now so experienced that they can win it”. We did whatever we ought to prepare our cyclists and now we wait for them to do their job”.
Teams to race in Tour du Rwanda
Tour du Rwanda 2017 will bring in 16 teams. Rwanda will be represented by three clubs; National Team Rwanda, Club BENEDICTION of Rubavu and Club Amis Sportifs of Rwamagana.
The other nations’ teams to represent African countries are Maurithius National Team, National Ethiopia Team, National Team of Eritrea, National Team of Morocco and National Team of Algeria.
Tour du Rwanda 2017 will be participated in by eight Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) teams which are Dimension Data For Qhubeka (South-Africa), Tirol Cycling Team (Austria), Team Illuminate (USA), Bike Aid (Germany), Haute-Savoie Auvergne-Rhones-Alpes (France) Lowestrates.ca [Canada] Kenyan Riders SAFARICOM and Dukla Banska Bystrica from Slovakia.
The race will begin with a prologue and continue in seven stages:
- PROLOGUE: Sunday, November 12 – Kigali (Prologue): 3KM
- STAGE 1: Monday, November 13 – Kigali to Huye: 120.3KM
- STAGE 2: Tuesday, November 14 – Nyanza to Rubavu: 180KM
- STAGE 3: Wednesday, November 15 – Rubavu to Musanze: 95 KM
- STAGE 4: Thursday, November 16 – Musanze to Nyamata: 121 KM
- STAGE 5: Friday, November 17 – Nyamata to Rwamagana: 93.1KM
- STAGE 6: Saturday, November 18 – Kayonza to Kigali/ Nyamirambo: 86.3 KM
- STAGE 7: Sunday, November 19 – Kigali-Kigali: 120 KM