Rwanda international and Africa's highest-rated rider Joseph Areruya will this week mark his debut in one of Germany's oldest classic cycling races, Rund um Köln, with his French UCI professional continental team, Delko Marseille Provence KTM.
This year's race will be the 102ndedition of the one-day Europe Tour race, categorised as a 1.1 UCI race. It will attract a total of 21 professional cycling teams from around Europe.
The gruesome race also known as Tour of Cologne will be held this Sunday and will cover a total distance of 207.7 kilometers in the city of Cologne.
Areruya, the reigning champion of 2017 Tour du Rwanda (2.2) and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo (2.1), is part of a seven-rider roster of Delko Marseille Provence KTM. The squad was unveiled by the club on Tuesday.
The 22-year old former South Africa's Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider will vie for the race's top honors along with teammates Julien El Fares, Brenton Jones, Yannick Martinez, Jérémy Leveau, Gatis Smukulis and Trarieux Julien.
The Rund um Köln is the second-oldest race in Germany, after Rund um die Hainleite, which was first staged in 1908.
Since 2005, Rund um Köln is part of the UCI Europe Tour, being organised as 1.1 race. In 2007, the race was categorised as 1.HC.
Since joining the French club in mid-April, Areruya is yet to claim a podium finish after six races he has participated in, including Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour (2.2) where he finished 68th, Vuelta Aragon (2.1) in the 89th and Tour de l'Ain (2.1) in 77th and Boucles de la Mayenne (2.1), where he settled for a 94th position.
The former Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana rider also raced at the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan (1.1) and Boucles de l'Aulne - Chateaulin (1.1) but failed to complete both races.
Rund um Köln (Tour of Cologne)
Köln - Köln (207.7km)