THIS year's Tour de Rwanda cycling race will cost the organisers, Rwanda Cycling Federation an estimated Rwf360 millions, officials have confirmed.
According to the federation Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Murenzi, the long-week competition which gets underway on the 18, will cost Rwf60m more than last year's.
"We have increased the budget as we want to have good and attractive competition, and we hope with more money injected, even the standards will improve," he said.
He noted,"The good thing is that we have got sponsors, so we expected everything to be smooth."
The sponsors for this year's event include; Ministry of Sports and Culture (Minispoc), Western Union, Cogebank, Skol Bear, Cogear, EWSA, Rwanda National Lottery (LOTTO), Europe Car, Inyange Industries, Brussels Airlines, Canal Plus, Radio 10 and TV Cinq Monde.
A total of 15 teams will compete for the top prize. Rwanda will be represented by Akagera and Kalisimbi teams with both sides fielding 12 riders.
There will also be African teams including Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
Foreign teams include; Team Quebecor Garneau (Canada), Team Reine Blanche Rhone Alpes (France), Equipe Regionale de la Reunion (France), Team AVIA Flanders (Belgique), SANOFI Team Type 1 (USA), Team MTN Quebeka (South Africa).
The week-long event will cover 876 kilometres, divided in eight stages.
Meanwhile, Rwanda's top cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti finished 9th in the Individual Time Trial race at the just concluded Africa Championships in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The Team MTN Qhubeka rider, covered the 170 km in 1 hour, 41 minutes and 10 seconds.
The winner, Eritrea's Natnael Berhane used 4 hours and 27 seconds, while South Africa's Jay Thomson, who won the championship in 2008, finished second and Eritrea's Frekalsi Debesy third.
Joseph Biziyaremye, the only other Rwandan to finish the race, used 4 hours, 10 minutes and 28 seconds to finish in 31st position. Javier Hadi and Abraham Ruhumuriza were part of 18 riders who did not finish.