Rwanda’s and African best ranked rider Areruya Joseph has sealed a two-year contract deal with French professional side Delko-Marseille-Provence KTM team.
The development has seen Areruya become the first African to ride for a UCI Professional Continental team.
The 22-year old Tour du Rwanda winner last November, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon and the Tour de l’Espoir in Cameroon earlier this year joined the French side after his pre-contract South African side Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s reserve side ended.
Andy Flickinger, the sports director of the Marseille team watched Areruya as he won the Tropicale Amissa Bongo on the Gabonese roads in January. The Rwandan impressed him as he dominated the professional players of French professional clubs namely Direct Energie, Delko and Wilier-Triestina.
Areruya was also the first African to win the a stage in last year’s edition of the Giro Baby, the Tour of Italy and with this feat, he will be relied to provide success to the French side.
The Tropicale Amissa Bongo success earned set a new record for him as he became the first Rwandan and only third African rider to win the 2.1 UCI category race. He addition, he also became the first rider to win the highly coveted crown with a national team, a non-professional UCI Continental Tour team.
Delko–Marseille Provence KTM is a UCI Professional Continental team, which ranks the later in the second class while the former is located in the third category of the International Cycling Union, UCI, race rankings.
The first class of UCI competitions, World Tour, includes the world’s top18 cycling clubs. The Professional Continental Teams class is made of 27 teams while currently; the UCI Continental Tour has a total 174 globally.
Delko–Marseille Provence KTM (formerly called La Pomme de Marseille) is a professional cycling club since 1974. The club’s current 14-man squad is made of six French riders, three Spaniards, two Italians, one Colombian, one Latvian and one rider from New Zealand.