The 10th edition of the Tour of Rwanda road cycling competition kicked off on Sunday in Rwamagana district, eastern Rwanda, with 16 teams participating in the race.
Aimable Bayingana, president of Rwanda Cycling Federation, welcomed the competition on Sunday.
The competition has attracted cyclists from 17 countries in Africa and elsewhere, according to the the Rwanda Cycling Federation. About 50 cyclists and six teams are participating for the first time, it said.
According to the roadmap, the race will run from August 5 to 12, with eight stages covering a distance of 948.6 kilometers.
Unlike previously, when the race kicked off in Rwandan capital Kigali, it started from the countryside this year for the first time. There was also no pre-action individual time trial as has been the case since 2012.
The first yellow jersey will be awarded after a 104km long stage 1 with cyclists riding around Rwamagana district.
This year’s edition has the longest stage in the history of the stage 3 between Huye in southern Rwanda and Musanze in northern Rwanda, with a record distance of 195.3 kilometers.
Former Team South Africa rider Rwandan Joseph Areruya, who won the last year’s race, is missing out this year because of another competition elsewhere with his new French team.
The Tour of Rwanda started in 2009.
Teams from Africa on the list this year included Les Amis Sportif and Benediction from Rwanda, GSP Algeria from Algeria, SNH Velo Club from Cameroon, Kenyan Riders Safaricom, Team Sampada from South Africa, and Bai Sicasal-Petro de Luanda from Angola.
Teams from outside the continent included Loup Suisse Romandie from Switzerland, Marc Pro GYM One Cycling Team from the USA, Team Haute-Savoie Rhone Alpes and Equipe De POC Cote De Lumiere from France, and Team Embrace The World from Germany. Enditem