Rwanda: Cycling Team Turns Focus to Tour of Eritrea

The national cycling team returned home on Wednesday afternoon after competing in the 13th Grand Cycling Tour of Algeria, held from March 4 to 28.

The team of six riders and coach Simon Hupperetz had been in the North African country since February 28.

After the month-long race series of the annual Algerian Tour, the team has now shifted focus to the forthcoming Tour of Eritrea scheduled for April 16-24.

The team was led by youngster Joseph Areruya, who was described by the Algerian Medias as “the sand in the grain machine of NASR Pro Cycling Team- Dubai.”

UCI World Tour side NASR Team of Dubai dominated this year’s Grand Cycling Tour of Algeria, but 20-year-old Areruya managed to deny the professional side total dominance by winning the ninth race (Circuit International de Constantine) last Saturday

Areruya also became the second Rwandan rider in history to win a stage at the annual event after Janvier Hadi, who won stage three, also known as International Tour of Oran, during the 2015 edition.

After a few days rest, the riders will start training at the Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC) in Musanze along with other Team Rwanda cyclists, all vying for slots in the team that will represent the country in Eritrea.

Tour of Eritrea is a UCI 2.2 Category race and is also part of UCI African Tour, like Tour du Rwanda.

Captained by Patrick Byukusenge, the team in Algeria also included Samuel Mugisha, Joseph Biziyaremye, Jeremie Karegeya and Jean Claude Uwizeye.

The race included 10 stages and 22 sub-stages, and was contested by a mix of 14 professional and amateur teams. The 2016 Algeria Grand Cycling Tour covered a total distance of 3500km.