Team Rwanda has started preparations ahead of the 2013 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo international cycling tour scheduled for January 14-20 in Gabon.
According to the national cycling federation Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Murenzi the six-man team entered residential camp in Musanze last week.
The team includes; Nathan Byukusenge, 33, Hassan Rukundo, 23, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, 20, Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva, 20, Valens Ndayisenga, 19, and Jérémie Karegeya, 20.
“We have changed strategy and decided to give the young riders a chance to compete in big competitions. I believe the team will be competitive in the tournament.
It’s a very tough competition as it attracts the best riders on the continent and beyond but we hope our team will do better this time round,” said Murenzi.
Team captain Byukusenge is the most senior rider on the team.
This year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo competition will bring together 15 teams, including nine African countries; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco and Rwanda.
Professional teams Europcar (France), Cofidis (France), Lampre-Merida (Italy), Lotto-Belisol (Belgium), Groupement Sportif Oil (Algeria) and Adrien Niyonshuti’s MTN-Qhubeka (South Africa) will take part.
Last year, Team Rwanda finished on 7th position out of 15 teams and secured 3rd position in Africa countries behind Eritrea and Morocco.