Three years ago, Team Rwanda rider Didier Munyaneza was crowned the champion of Tour du Senegal 2019 race with a nine-second lead. Since that time, he has yet to receive his race prize.
Munyaneza lamented on Twitter that he and his teammates had not been paid after winning the 2019 Tour du Senegal.
“Typically, when we compete in a cycling race, there are planned rewards. The race organizers determine the prizes, but it was different for us because we were not given any money,” he tweeted.
Munyaneza pointed out that although the Rwanda cycling federation, FERWACY, had promised to follow up, he had not received a specific response.
“We want to know the role of FERWACY in solving such issues for cyclists. I’m not charging them, but I’m pleading with them to assist us find a long-term solution to this,” he said.
“My teammates believe that I may have been paid and disregarded them while we worked together, which is incorrect.”
Former professional cyclist Byukusenge Patrick of Rwanda agreed with Munyaneza that the federation should demand payment for the cyclists because it is disheartening to finish and win the race but not be awarded the prizes.
While responding to Munyaneza’s tweet, FERWACY reminded him that he was representing Benediction Cycling Club, not Team Rwanda.
The Rwanda cycling federation attributed the failure to receive their prizes to the Senegalese cycling federation’s administration issues, which was resulted in the race being canceled and prize distribution becoming difficult.
“The same thing happened to the national team (Team Rwanda) that won the Tour de l’Espoir in 2018 and did not receive their prize because the race was also canceled in 2019,” FERWACY wrote.
The Federation emphasized that the prizes are now sent to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which distributes them to the winners via their teams, breaking with the inferiority of the race organizer in not giving out prizes.
The Rwandan cycling governing body added that riders who compete as a national team share the prizes, as was the case for the most recent Tour du Cameroun 2023 race.
Munyaneza further asked FERWACY to speak with riders to explain the actions taken when they don’t receive their rewards.