Team Rwanda Prepares for the Continental Road Championships
The 2016 Continental Road Championships will be held February 21-26th in Casablanca, Morocco. Team Rwanda has been preparing for this annual event since the first week in January. This year, Rwanda will be sending eight U23/Elite Men, two Junior Men and one Elite Female. This is the largest contingency of Rwandan cyclists at a Continental Championship since Rwanda hosted the Road Championships in 2010.
The U23/Elite team will consist of Valens Ndayisenga, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Patrick Byukusenge, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Joseph Areruya, Jeremie Karegeya, Joseph Biziyaremye and riding this year for U23, Samuel Mugisha.
The Junior Men will include Fidel (Ally) Dukuzumuremyi from Musanze and Rene Ukiniwabo from Rwamagana.
Jeanne d’Arc Girbuntu will be racing in her second Continental Championships. Girubuntu will race the Individual Time Trial and the Road Race. Coach Sterling Magnell, stated,
“Jeanne d’Arc has made some major progress since the last Continental Championships. She’s a year older stronger and wiser.
I’ve been working closely with her one on one to perfect her position and optimize the power she has on the bike. The focus and stability she’s gained from the intervals and strength training we do means that much more of her natural talent is going to show up on race day. I’m personally quite excited to see what kind of ride she produces in the TT.”
When asked about the men’s team, Coach Magnell is cautiously optimistic when asked about the men’s team “The men’s team has a slightly new look this year. Some of our top cyclists (Nsengimana and Hadi) have graduated, as it were, but the core is still made up of riders I’ve been working closely with for the past year. By now, and after their success in the Tour of Rwanda last season, they have faith in how the system of training we have in place works. Their confidence is growing exponentially and that has allowed them to focus more on some of the finer nuances of riding as a team and playing the tactical game. I’ll be looking for some of the fruits of that in the TTT and road race. In the individual TT where we are always strong, I’m looking for a surprise performance. It’s still early in the season and possibly too early to see the speeds I know a couple of our youngest athletes are capable of. I’m confident however that if Rwanda doesn’t see the emergence of a new star in Morocco that we will see it later this season.”
2014 Tour of Rwanda winner, Valens Ndayisenga will race the Individual Time Trial, the Team Time Trial and the Road Race. Rounding out the Team Time Trial with be Joseph Areruya, Joseph Biziyaremye and Patrick Byukusenge. All of which will also compete in the Road Race.
Technical Director Jonathan Boyer, mechanic Jamie Bissell and soigneur, Obed Ruvogera, will accompany the team. President of FERWACY, Aimable Bayingana will also attend the event in Morocco.