Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) president, Aimable Bayingana has credited Team Rwanda’s growing dominance on continental scene to a combination of experience and ability to successfully execute technical plans.
Bayingana made the remarks on Monday in an exclusive interview with Times Sport following the national cycling team’s historic performance at the just concluded 15th edition of the annual Tour du Cameroun that climaxed on Sunday.
25-year old Boanaventure Uwizeyimana, fondly known as Bona, was on Sunday crowned the champion of this year’s race with a record lead of 3 minutes and 38 seconds on top.
Not only was it Uwizeyimana’s historic first professional triumph in any UCI sanctioned race, it was also Team Rwanda’s maiden win at the 8-stage race in the West African country since marking her first appearance in 2010.
“The continuing success in international races is absolutely a result of maturity and experience of the riders – individually and as a team. Previously, we fell short not because the boys lacked physical ability, but largely because of naivety,” Bayingana explained.
At the annual 2.2 UCI Africa tour race, Team Rwanda swept all the three top honors, including the overall individual winner, the junior category winner – through Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo – and the team category accolade.
“The riders are now able to execute the technical plans successfully; unlike in the previous years where working as a team was rather difficult. It’s a new dawn for Team Rwanda, which puts the whole team in a good position ahead of the Tour du Rwanda upgrade from 2.2 to 2.1 effective next year,” he further noted.
Uwizeyimana’s impressive triumph means that Team Rwanda have scooped four of the five international races they appeared in since last November.
The run of key victories on the continent started with the 2017 Tour du Rwanda, then 2018 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon before the inaugural Tour de l’Espoir in Cameroun triumps – all through Africa’s top-rated Joseph Areruya.
Since the formation of Team Rwanda Cycling ten years ago, it was not until 2014 that it started bearing fruit when Valens Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda. Since then, no foreign cyclist has been able to win the annual race.