Magnell vows to repeat Tour du Rwanda feat

The two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga celebrates his victory after winning Tour du Rwanda 2016 in Kigali


2017 Tour du Rwanda stages

Nov. 12: Prologue: 3.3km

Nov. 13: Stage 1 Kigali-Huye 120.3km

Nov. 14: Stage 2 Nyanza- Rubavu 180km

Nov. 15: Stage 3 Rubavu-Musanze 95km

Nov. 16: Stage 4 Musanze-Nyamata 121km

Nov. 17: Stage 5 Nyamata-Rwamagana 93.1km

Nov. 18: Stage 6 Kayonza-Kigali 86.3km

Nov. 19: Stage 7 Kigali-Kigali 120km


THE national cycling team coach Sterling Magnell pray with Team Rwanda before the first stage from Kicukiro to Ngoma

, has said Rwandan riders are set to raise the country’s flag higher with a  dominant showing in this year’s Tour du Rwanda. The 9th edition of the annual UCI category 2.2 Road race is scheduled for November 12-19.

“The level of Tour du Rwanda continues to go up every year. The strongest teams we have ever faced are coming and I believe we will also have one of our strongest teams ever assembled,” Magnell told Times Sport in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Race organisers Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) have confirmed that a total of 17 teams will take part of which three will be local teams, namely; Team Rwanda, Club Benediction de Rubavu and Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana. Each of the three teams will comprise five riders.

According to the American trainer, a provisional team of 25 riders was selected to begin a training camp two weeks ago at Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC) in Musanze and the team has since been reduced to 17 riders.

He further noted that, “We now have 17 riders in camp not including the professionals, who will race with their respective teams. We are close to selecting the final list for our three teams; we have until the end of the month to submit (the final list).”

“This time we need to win with sound tactics, not strength alone, some of which could be confusing to the public. But just watch, we will be ready,” Magnell vowed.

Tour du Rwanda 2014 winner Valens Ndayisenga celebrates his victory at the finish in 2014

Since 2014, Rwandans have dominated the annual competition.  In 2014, Valens Ndayisenga, who then was riding for Team Rwanda Kalisimbi, made history becoming the first Rwandan to win the annual race since it became part of UCI Africa 2.2 tour and in 2015, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, also riding for Kalisimbi claimed it.

Team Rwanda riders in joint action to celebrate Tour du Rwanda 2015 title after the crucial win of Jean Bosco Nsengimana

Last year, Ndayisenga, riding for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka, triumphed and in the process, became the first rider to win it more than once since it became an international race in 2009.

For this year, the Rwamagana-born rider will be racing for Austaria’s Tirol Cycling team. Other Rwandan professional riders tipped to shine are; Samuel Mugisha and Joseph Areruya, who are contracted to Dimension Data for Qhubeka.

The big names that will likely race for local teams include; Nsengimana, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Patrick Byukusenge and Gasore Hategeka.

Meanwhile, six teams will be making their debut this year, they include; Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slovakia), Interpro Cycling Academy, Team Illuminate, Kenya Riders Safaricom, Mauritius and Tirol Cycling Team.

National teams

Rwanda, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Morocco, Algeria

UCI Continental teams

1. Dimension Data for Qhubeka (SA)

2. Tirol Cycling Team (Aus)

3. Team Bike Aid (Ger)

4. Team Illuminate (USA)

5. Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slo)

6. Interpro Cycling Academy (Jap)

Club teams

1. Club Benediction de Rubavu (Rwa)

2. Club Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagama (Rwa)

3. Team (Can)

4. Team Haute-Savoie/Auvergne (Fra)

5. Team Kenya Riders Safaricom (Ken)

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