8 November 2017

Rwanda: Dimension Data Set to Defend Tour Du Rwanda Title

South Africa's Team Dimension Data have confirmed their five-team roster that will be vying to defend this year's Tour du Rwanda that gets underway this coming Sunday on November 12 and run until November 19.

The Italy based UCI continental team are the defending champions in both general classification which they won courtesy of Rwandan rider Valens Ndayisenga currently with Austria's Tirol Cycling team and were the best overall team.

The roster that was announced on Monday via the team's official twitter handle is led by Rwandan duo of Joseph Areruya and Samuel Mugisha who currently is with the fifteen riders that will represent Rwanda under three teams namely Team Rwanda, Club Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana and Club Benediction de Rubavu.

The local riders are currently in a training camp at Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC) in Musanze district.

Last year, Areruya who was making his second appearance in the annual 2.2 UCI Africa Tour finished fourth and won stage four Rusizi-Huye.

Earlier this year, the former Les Amis Sportifs rider made history by winning stage 5 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia U23.

This historic win was a first on two fronts, first, it marked Rwanda's first win on the European racing circuit and it was also Dimension Data All-African Continental Team's first victory outside the continent.

In 2015 when he debuted in Tour du Rwanda, Areruya finished second on the General Classification behind the eventual winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana.

Meanwhile his compatriot Mugisha made his Tour du Rwanda debut last year and stunned by winning the King of the Mountains jersey.

Another big name on this roster and favourite to win this year's edition is Eyob Metkel from Eritrea who finished second last year in the general classification just 39 seconds behind Ndayisenga and managed to win stage five Muhanga-Musanze. The other two riders are Kent Main and Stefan de Bod.

This year's Tour du Rwanda will cover a total distance of 819 kilometers and will reach in all the five provinces of the country.

2017 Tour du Rwanda stages

Nov. 12: Prologue: 3.3km

Nov. 13: Stage 1 Kigali-Huye 120.3km+ 4 categorized climbs

Nov. 14: Stage 2 Nyanza- Rubavu 180km+ 6 categorized climbs

Nov. 15: Stage 3 Rubavu-Musanze 95km+ 1 massive categorized climb

Nov. 16: Stage 4 Musanze-Nyamata 121km+ 4 categorized climbs

Nov. 17: Stage 5 Nyamata-Rwamagana 93.1km+ 3 categorized climbs

Nov. 18: Stage 6 Kayonza-Kigali 86.3km+ 4 categorized climbs (including the infamous "Mur de Kigali")

Nov. 19: Stage 7 Kigali-Kigali 120km+ 10 categorized climbs (one per lap of the circuit)

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