With Tour of Rwanda around the corner, team Rwanda is stepping up preparations for the annual cycling championship with two warm up races next month.
According to the cycling federation (FERWACY),Rwanda will send a team each to the upcoming world road race cycling championships in Qatar (9 – 16 October) and another team to the Grand Prix Chantal Biya in Cameroon (13-20 October).
The reigning champion of Tour of Rwanda Jean Bosco Nsengimana and experienced rider Nathan Byakusengye are expected to lead Rwanda’s charge in Cameroon with the latter also taking on the captaincy.
“We are sending a competitive team to Cameroon and expect to do better than last year when we finished in second place,” said rider Samuel Mugisha who will be making his debut at the event.
Rwanda will be represented by a five-member team with coach Felix Sempoma as the head of delegation.
Meanwhile, the federation’s president Aimable Bayingana will lead a six man team to the 89th world road cycling championships in Qatar. Captained by elite rider Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Rwanda’s focus will be in the u-23 category where it will be represented by three riders. 2014 Tour de Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga, prodigy Joseph Areruya and Claude Uwizeye will carry Rwanda’s chances in the category.
Female elite cyclist Beatha Ingabire will compete in the women’s elite category while junior cyclist Rene Ukiniriwabo will be making her debut in the junior category.
More Rwandan sportsmen will be in continental action this weekend with basketball clubs Espoir, Patriots (men) and Ubumwe (women) representing the country in the FIBA Africa zone 5 championships in Tanzania.
The Patriots, league runners-up will be making their debut in the regional competition that sees the winner qualify for the Africa club championships.
Speaking to KT Press, Patriots star guard Aristide Mugabe believes that the team is ready for the challenge.
“Zone five is a different ball game but we have been training hard and are ready to take on the region’s best teams,” he said.
The four-day championship will have teams from the five countries including; Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and hosts Tanzania.
Last year’s finalists City Oilers from Uganda are favourites in the men’s category while the women’s draw is open after the withdraw of defending champions Ubumwe from Burundi.