NATIONAL cycling team coach Jonathan Boyer has made two changes to the team that will race in the Tour of Eritrea that runs from May 30-June 3.
Nineteen year old Hadi Janvier, who is fresh from a two month training clinic in South African and Emmanuel Rudahunga have replaced Gasore Hategeka and Emile Bintunimana.
The American explained to Times Sport that the changes were influenced by tactical and sentimental reasons.
"Hategeka has a wedding at the end of the month, so it would have been difficult to take him besides; we also wanted to give some other riders a chance.
"Rudahunga is very good at mountain climbing and since the terrain is hilly, we thought it wise to replace him with Bintunimana, who is better in flat terrains," Boyer said.
The other riders on the team include veterans Abraham Ruhumuriza, Nathan Byukusenge, Nicodem Habiyambere and Joseph Bizimurumreyi.
The contingent, which also includes a masseur-Obed Ruvogera, Media Officer Kimberly Coats and mechanic Darcel Maxime leave on Friday morning for Eritrea.
Boyer is counting on a better performance from the team because "the terrain in Eritrea is similar to that of Rwanda. The routes will be hilly and the climate humid, something that the former American cyclist thinks will work in favour of his boys.
The Tour of Eritrea has eight stages and is a 2:2 UCI (International cycling union) classified race. The competition started in 1946 and was not held for a number of years due to Political reasons.
Team Rwanda will face competition from the elite Eritrean riders, Morocco and South African professional cycling team MTN Qhubeka.
Habte Weldesimon has won the event the most times (3), while Meron Russom won last year's event. It is the first time Rwanda s taking part in the competition.