Six Rwandan junior cyclists have got an opportunity to travel to Belgium for one month training which will expose them to international cycling terrain.
This is the first time Rwanda has ever sent a team of teenage cyclists to compete and learn from others on the international platform.
The team will be fully sponsored by courtesy of Skol Breweries Rwanda, national carrier- Rwandair and Fly Cycling Clubs Kigali.
They will be escorted by four senior technical cycling specialists in the trip which starts July 5th – 31st, 2018.
“The hope is that by investing in these riders now at a young age, they may become Rwanda’s next generation of top professionals achieving even greater heights for Africa’s number one cycling nation,” said Emilienne Benurugo, the SKOL Brand Manager at a press briefing on Tuesday.
The six riders, all under 18 years of age include some of the most promising Rwandan cyclists with local and continental awards.
They include: Jean Eric Habimana, the 2018 national Champion, Felicien Hakizamana, Jean Baptiste Nsabimana all from Fly Cycling Clubs Kigali and Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo, Yves Nkurunziza, the second African continental champion in individual time trial.
The list also includes Barnabé Gahemba Uhoraningoga, a young brother to Rwanda’s champion Joseph Areruya. The two last are from Benediction Cycling Club.
During their stay in Belgium, the teenagers will take part in 11 races of 1053.5kilometers with some of the top flight cyclists in Belgium.
They will also participate in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Nations Men’s Junior Cup race- one of global cycling calendar events to be held in Belgium from 6th -9th July.
“The intention is to expose these junior riders to other terrains and a learning experience from other international riders. The plan is to have such tours happen every year and we have started with promising young talents,” said Jordan Mathes, the Head Coach of Fly Cycling Clubs Kigali.
Rwandair and SKOL Rwanda plan to work with Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) to increase the sponsorship to two more members of clubs -Fly Cycling Clubs Kigali and Benediction Cycling Club as part of their support to Rwanda’s cycling sport which is arguably one of the most popular game in the country.