The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Tour Du Rwanda Starts

The 2012 Tour du Rwanda gets underway this morning at Amahoro national stadium with competitors going round Kigali City for the opening stage. This year's race will cover a total of 876 kilometres which will be split in eight stages.

The President of Confederation of African Cycling (Confederation Africaine de Cyclisme) Dr. Mohamed Wagih Azzam is expected to flag off the week-long competition at 8am.

Rwanda is represented by two teams; 'Team Rwanda Akagera' and 'Team Rwanda Karisimbi'.

Akagera includes; Nicodem Habiyambere, Gasore Hategeka, Jacque Mbarushimana, Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva, Hassan Rukundo and Bonavanture Uwizeyimana.

While Kalisimbi will be represented by Adrien Niyonshuti, Nathan Byukusenge, Abraham Ruhumuriza, Janvien Hadi, Joseph Biziyaremye and Emmanuel Rudahunga.

Tour of Rwanda 2012 will be in eight stages, the seventh stage is the longest in the whole tour where cyclists will ride from Rubavu to Kigali (156.5 km), and then the shortest stage is the second one where Cyclists will start the stage at Kigali to Muhanga (44.1 km).

The chairman of the Rwanda Cycling Federation, Aimable Bayingana has hope that Rwanda this time will do better than last year.

Last year's team, 'Team Rwanda Kalisimbi' took number one team position and Bayingana is positive about this year as well.

"Last year our team was number one and our riders have shown great improvement since then, so we hope to see them doing better than last year," he told Sunday Sport.

Tour du Rwanda 2012 host 90 Cyclists from 15 teams from across the world and 15 teams (2 teams professional, 7 national teams from African, Four teams from other continent and 2 Rwandan Teams).

National Teams from African: Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroun, Gabon and South Africa.

Teams from other continent: Team Quebecor Garneau (Canada), Team Reine Blanche Rhone Alpes (France), Equipe Regionale de la Reunion (France), Team AVIA Flanders (Belgique) and SANOFI Team Type 1 (USA). The tourney starts today and will end next weekend on 25th Nov.

Kei Reijnen of Team 'TT1 USA' won last year's competition after using four hours and 22 minutes, while Rwanda's Adrien Niyonshuti finished fourth in 4' 36" 14".

There were three Rwandans inside the top ten with Nicodem Habiyambere and Innocent Uwamungu joining Niyonshuti.

2012 Tour du Rwanda Stages

Stage 1: Kigali - Nyagatare

Stage 2: Kigali- Muhanga

Stage 3: Muhanga - Huye

Stage 4: Huye - Karongi

Stage 5: Muhanga - Musanze

Stage 6: Musanze - Rubavu

Stage 7: Rubavu - Kigali

Stage 8: Kigali - Kigali

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