‘Rwandan Epic’ an international mountain bike race will return to Rwanda, the ‘Country of a Thousand Hills’ giving racers an experience of explosive gorilla and mountain view, breathtaking sceneries with expectations to build a big passion for biking.
The four day race, now in its 2nd edition, is slated for November 1-5, 2022 will come around with new aspects following its recent international category ranking by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
In its first year as a stage race, the Epic was scheduled to be a race consisting of a prologue, 2 marathon stages, and a cross country style lap format stage played in Kigali city and the countryside.
Unlike the previous edition in 2020, this year will consist of five longer race route sections, which will also consisting of two sections for the non-professional racers.
The 2022 event will bring spectacle on Mount Kigali in the city Kigali on day one with competitors racing the clock on 9.1KM prologue.
Other stages will be held in Northern and Western Provinces where on stage two dubbed ‘Queen Stage’ will be played, with a distance of 99.2 kilometers, from Shyorongi-Rusiga to Musanze district- a mountainous area and home to Rwanda’s Silverbacks and mountain gorillas.
The third leg will be played on November 3 in Kinigi-Burera, back to Kinigi, at a distance of 71.6 kilometers where this area is called ‘Twin Lakes’.
The fourth stage called ‘Kinigi XC’ will be played on November 4 at a distance of 32 kilometers, where it will go around Kinigi, a cold area which is also home to Rwanda’s high end hotels and hospitality facilities.
The fifth stage will be played on November 5, a stage dubbed ‘Gishwati to Rubavu’ with 62.9 kilometers- and contestants will depart from Nyabihu and head to Rubavu, passing through Gishwati, then cross to Lake Kivu, in the West.
Simon De Schutter, who is one of the event organizers, said that the race will be open to both professional and non-professional runners, where Rwandans and foreigners have already registered.
De Schutter explained that they have received 62 players so far and that registration is open for the next two weeks.
When asked about the money that will be used in this competition, Simon De Schutter said that this competition will cost one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), which is 150 million Rwandan francs.
Rwanda Epic is organized by Rwanda Alternative Riding Events (RAR Events) in collaboration with the Rwanda Cycling Association (FERWACY).
The previous race was won by Rwandan Jean Eric Habimana and German Karl Platt.
Rwanda currently is host to the UCI ranked Tour du Rwanda, and hosting the ‘Rwandan Epic’ will be a build up to the UCI Road World Championships in 2025- of which Rwanda will host.