14 November 2018

Rwanda: Tour Du Rwanda 2019 Route to Be Unveiled Today

The route of the 2019 Tour du Rwanda is set to be revealed on Thursday at Classic Hotel in Kigali.

The 11th edition of the annual event will run from February 24 through March 3.

Effective 2019, Tour du Rwanda will be upgraded from 2.2 to 2.1 road race category of the International Cycling Union (UCI). This will make it one of the two cycling events with a UCI 2.1 category badge - along with Gabon's La Tropicale Amissa Bongo - on the continent.

Normally, Tour du Rwanda was being staged in November, a period when most World Tour teams are in end-of-season break. This year's race was held in August to allow Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy) ample time to prepare for the much-anticipated first Tour du Rwanda edition under the UCI 2.1 category.

According to UCI, for a road race to be considered a 2.1 race category, it has to attract a certain number of UCI World Tour Teams and UCI Professional Continental teams.

Next year will be the first time that Tour du Rwanda will hosted early in the season, which is meant to facilitate big teams from all over the world to participate.

During the past editions, the total prize money was US$23,860 (about Rwf19.7 million) but it will have to be increased at least by five folds as the race gears up to start a new era.

Tour du Rwanda became part of UCI Africa in 2009 and it has since grown by leaps and bounds, attracting over 500 riders from across the world. Rwanda's Samuel Mugisha is the reigning champion.

The Italy-based youngster beat the odds this year to register a new record of the youngest - at 20 years and 250 days - cyclist to win Tour du Rwanda.

He is the fourth Rwandan to win the race after Valens Ndayisenga (2014, 2016), Jean Bosco Nsengimana (2015) and Joseph Areruya in 2017.

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