The sport of cycling in Rwanda turned professional 10 years ago when the first professional cycling event (Tour du Rwanda) was incorporated into UCI Africa as a 2.2 category race.
Ten years down the road, the sport has come from nearly nowhere to producing some of the best riders on the continent with a Rwandan rider Joseph Areruya currently ranked top on the UCI Africa Tour, thanks to great efforts by Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) and Team Rwanda technical director Jonathan Jock Boyer.
Two-weeks ago, following his back-to-back triumph at several international races, 22-year-old Joseph Areruya became the first Rwandan rider to top the continent, with Rwanda coming into the top three cycling countries in Africa.
Last week after a successful hosting of the 13th edition of African Continental Road Championship staged in Kigali where Team Rwanda (men and women) collected a record 10 medals; 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals to finish third on the medal table behind Eritrea (20 medals) and Ethiopia (13 medals), the country has improved to the second place on the continent while Areruya has maintained his top spot.
Following this latest UCI Africa tour ranking, we take a look at how elite local cyclists are ranked.
As mentioned Team Dimension for Qhubeka Continental team rider Areruya tops these rankings with a total of 437.75 points while 2015 Tour du Rwanda champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana is the next best ranked rider at 7th place with 161.75 points improving by 11 slots. The two are the only riders appearing in the top 10.
Former Dimension Data for Qhubeka and two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga is ranked number 16 with 116.75 points dropping by six slots while Les Amis sportifs Jean Claude Uwizeye is ranked 23rd with 93 points improving by 10 slots.
Reigning Rwanda cycling cup champion Gasore Hategeka comes in the 30th position with fast rising star Didier Munyaneza in 35th place improving by a total of 152 positions.
These rankings are released on a weekly basis and only consider points garnered by cyclists who competed on UCI incorporated races across the world.
Rwandan cyclists ranking on Africa UCI tour
1. Joseph Areruya 437.75 points
11. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 161.75 points
16. Valens Ndayisenga 116.75 points
23. Jean Claude Uwizeye 93 points
30. Gasore Hategeka 71 points
35. Didier Munyaneza 69 points
42. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana 56 points
59. Adrien Niyonshuti 43.75 points
74. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo 39 points
93. Jean Damascene Ruberwa