Tour du Rwanda 2024: Promoting young African cyclists – At a glance

The 16th edition of the Tour du Rwanda will start on February 18, 2024 and finish on the 25th of the same month. Twenty teams are expected. The cyclists will cover 740 km in 8 days.

Sixteen of the twenty teams taking part are already known, with the remaining four to be announced to the press before the end of this year, said Freddy Kamuzinzi, Director of the Tour du Rwanda 2024.

From February 18 to 25, 2024, the cyclists will pass through Rwanda’s five provinces and 21 of the country’s 30 districts. The total distance covered will be 740 km.

Forty teams had registered to take part in this 16th edition, but twenty were selected. Rwanda’s new technical director, Frenchman Philippe Colliou, said they had given priority to African teams.“Our priority is to welcome national teams from African countries. We want this 16th edition, which precedes the World Championships to be held in Kigali in 2025, to be an opportunity for African cyclists to shine. A young Rwandan, for example, who is at home, racing in front of his family, his friends, the media and his public, must perform. For this edition, our priority is to give the chance to teams with young runners and with development structures”, explains Philippe Colliou.

In order to prepare effectively for the World Championship, Philippe Colliou announced that the Tour du Rwanda 2024 will be broadcast live in partnership with Canal+ and RBA (Rwanda Broadcasting Agency). The routes of the first and last stages in the city of Kigali will also be used during the World Championships.

The selected teams

The 16th edition will feature professional teams, continental teams and national teams.

The professional teams are Israel-Premier Tech (Israel), Total Energies (France) and Eolo-KometaCycling Team (Italy).

The continental teams are Soudal Quick-StepDev Team (Belgium), AstaQazadstanDev Team (Kazakhstan), Groupama FDJ (France), Bike Aid (Germany) and Lotto Dstny from Belgium. The national teams will of course come from host country Rwanda, Algeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Italy and the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Cycling Center, which will field a team of African riders from various countries.

Eight stages are on the program
The first stage on February 18: BK Arena – Kigali Convention Center: a team time trial (18 km).

Second stage on February 19: Muhanga – Kibeho (130 km).

Third stage on February 20: Huye – Rusizi (141km).

Fourth stage on February 21: Karongi – Rubavu (92km).

Stage 5 on February 22: Musanze – Kinigi: an individual time trial (13km).

Stage six on February 23: Musanze – Mont Kigali (93km).

Stage seven on February 24: Rukomo – Kayonza (163km).

The eighth stage on February 25: Kigali Convention Center – Kigali Convention Center (90km).

Rwanda’s cyclists confident

Last year’s top Rwandan, Muhoza Eric of Baile Aid, says the 2024 Tour du Rwanda will be tough. “The routes are new for us, which is not a good thing for Rwandan cyclists. We’re going to train along these routes so that we’re ready when the time comes. I hope we’ll put in a good performance compared with last year. The fact that the stages aren’t too long may work in our favor, but we’ll have to be competitive, because since the Tour is at level 2.1, it’s been attracting better cyclists. In the time trials, we can hope to win individually, but as a team, frankly, it’s almost impossible”, says a realistic Muhoza, who hopes that they will benefit from the public’s support to shine.

The Tour du Rwanda 2023 was won by Eritrean Henok Mulubrhan. During this edition, the Rwandans didn’t shine. They didn’t win a single stage.

Written by admin