The New Times (Kigali)

South Africa: Rider Hadi Set to Turn Pro in South Africa

Following the success of Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN Qhubeka), Janvier Hadi becomes the second Rwandan rider to turn professional after agreeing to sign for South Africa based UCI Continental Center in January 2013.

The 20-year-old will follow in the footsteps of Team Rwanda skipper Niyonshuti, who was the first Rwandan to go pro in 2009 after securing a professional contract with Team MTN Energade.

According to Rwanda Cycling Federation (RCF) officials, Hadi will sign an initial one-year contract. He is among 10 African cyclists, who will be in UCI Continental Team in 2013 season.

"He is still young and it will be good for him to compete with big names on the continent next year. He will be competing in big competition, which is good for him and for the country, and we hope he will become even better with time," RCF official Egide Mugisa told Times Sport yesterday.

He added, "This is good for Rwandan cycling and our riders. It will help to raise their level and in the next couple of years, Rwanda could be among the leading cycling nations in Africa."

In his second appearance in the Tour du Rwanda, Hadi finished the 2012 tour in 31st position within a 23h30'51" after 894.8km. His new team UCI Continental Center ended in 7th position with Eritrea rider Merhawi Kudus finishing sixth after clocking 22h49'58'.

Niyonshuti will make history next year and become the first ever Rwandan professional in the European peloton as Team MTN-Qhubeka prepares to register as a UCI Pro Continental team.

Rwanda's top rider finished in 9th position after 894.8km of the 2012 Tour du Rwanda cycling race. The MTN Qubeka rider won the Blue Jersey for being the top Rwandan rider in the competition. He used 22h54'14" to finish 10 minutes and 33 seconds behind tour winner South Africa rider Lill Daren.

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