Team Rwanda riders on Wednesday, April 14, started a two-week training camp ahead of the much-anticipated Tour du Rwanda 2021 slated from May 2-9.
The training sessions, which run until April 30, will see riders spy out five of the eight stages of this year's cycling race.
Team Rwanda head coach Felix Sempoma took eight riders with him ahead of the final phase of the training camp from whom he will select a final five-man roster that he will use during Tour du Rwanda.
They include Barnabe Gahemba, Felicien Hakizimana, Emmanuel Iradukunda, Masengesho, Samuel Mugisha, Eric Muhoza, Jeremie Ngendahayo and Jean Bosco Nsengimana.
According to the training itinerary released by Rwanda Cycling Federation on Wednesday, April 14, riders will start training in the routes from Musanze to Nyanza on April 17 before taking on Nyanza-Gicumbi route the following day.
On April 19, riders will race from Kigali to Nyagatare and then use the same route returning to Kigali on April 20 only to conclude their itinerary from Kigali to Musanze on April 21.
By the end of the five-stage itinerary, Sempoma will have been able to know who to keep and who to drop before he announces Team Rwanda's final list of riders with whom he will be looking to win the first Tour du Rwanda race since it was upgraded to a UCI 2.1 race category in 2019.
Team Rwanda is one of three cycling teams that will represent Rwanda at this year's cycling tournament alongside SKOL Adrien Cycling Academy (SACA) and Benediction Cycling.
Fifteen teams have been confirmed to take part in this year's cycling showpiece, including four national cycling teams namely Algeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Team Rwanda which will be playing on home soil.
They also include seven continental teams namely Benediction Benediction Cycling and SACA (both Rwanda), Pro Touch (South Africa), Bike Aid (Germany), Tarteletto (Belgium), Terengganu (Malaysia) and Team Medellin (Colombia) while four Pro teams including B&B Hotels (France), Direct Energie (both France), Androni (Italy) and Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel) also confirmed their participation.
The latter is home to former Tour de France champion Chris Froome who is yet to be confirmed if he will be part of the team traveling to Rwanda for the race.
In an eight-day race, Tour du Rwanda 2021 will include a total elevation of 16,347 metres and will take the peloton up to the Wall of Kigali and Mount Kigali.
This year's Tour du Rwanda winner will dethrone reigning champion Natnael Tesfatsion, who rode for the NTT Continental ahead of Moise Mugisha (SACA) and Kent Main (ProTouch) who completed the top three podium.
The Eritrean will be looking to retain his yellow jersey for yet another year in the colors of his new club Androni.