The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Boyer Puts Faith in Youthful Team Rwanda

Rwanda national cycling team (Team Rwanda) coach Jonathan Boyer has full confidence in the young riders, who are preparing to compete in three races in Eritrea this month.

The first race, the Red Sea Classic, starts on Saturday, and will be followed with Tour of Eritrea, from 19-22, and the last event, Circuit of Asmara, is scheduled for February 24.

According to the American coach, the team is continuing to build on its commitment to bringing through young riders. The team will be led by Nathan Byukusenge.

"Eritrea is a difficult place to compete due to the high altitude in Asmara but we hope the team will cope," Boyer told Times Sport before the team's departure on Tuesday.

Eritrea has some of the best riders on the continent but Boyer believes Rwandans are steadily closing the gap. The team is comprised of six riders; Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Gasore Hategeka, Jeremie Karegeya, Hassan Rukundo and Nathan Byukusenge

Team Rwanda gained some valuable experience from taking part in last month's Tropicale Amissi Bongo tour in Gabon and their fitness level has improved, according to their coach, who has been in charge since 2006.

Uwizeyimana warmed up for the races by winning last weekend's 86km race, Kigali to Rusumo. He was closely followed by Rukundo while Byukusenge came in third.

Boyer said, "These races in Eritrea will be very difficult; however, we hope to add on our progress from Gabon."

Meanwhile, Team Rwanda member Valens Ndayisenga has returned in Rwanda from the UCI training centre in South Africa after being involved in a nasty crash while racing last week.

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