TEAM Rwanda Cycling, the national cycling team, will not be taking part in the forthcoming Grand Prix Chantal Biya race scheduled for October 11-15 in Cameroon, Times Sport has learnt.
Rwanda Cycling Federation, FERWACY, has revealed that organisers of the cycling event denied Team Rwanda an invitation to participate in the 4-stage race. This is the first time Rwanda is missing out at the annual race since 2014.
Reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Valens Ndayisenga was among the highly anticipated riders at the 5-day 2.2 UCI category race.
The 23-year-old is fresh from the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway and was looking to immediately use the lessons and experience gained from the World Championships.
The team that was announced, last month, by FERWACY to compete at Grand Prix Chantal Biya also included; the 2015 Tour du Rwanda winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Jean Claude Uwizeye, and youngsters Didier Munyaneza and Jean Paul Ukiniwabo.
The 17th edition of Grand Prix Chantal Biya will cover a total 579.3 kilometres, a prologue and four stages. Eleven teams, two local teams, four African and five European teams are expected to grace the showpiece. Rwanda was supposed to be the 12th team.
At last year’s edition, claimed by French cyclist Martial Roman, Team Rwanda finished in the second place behind Cameroon’s SNH Vélo Club, in team classification. Nsengimana was Rwanda’s best rider, finishing 11th in general classification and third in U23 category.
Then riding for Germany’s Bike Aid Stradalli, Nsengimana put up a stunning performance to win stage 4 in 4 hours, 9 minutes and 42 seconds covering 169km from Sangmélima to Yaoundé. Youngster Samuel Mugisha finished third in stage 4.
At their debut appearance, in 2015, Team Rwanda also finished second behind Morocco. Rwanda international Gasore Hategeka finished in the 4th place in overall classification while Bonaventure Uwizeyimana finished 2nd in U23 riders.