The Tour du Rwanda international cycling competition kicked off Sunday in the capital Kigali, featuring 16 teams and 80 riders.
The 12th edition of the race will climax on March 1 after riders from 26 countries covering a distance of 899kms in eight stages.
In stage 1 the cyclists covered a distance of 114.4kms from Kigali to Rwamagana in eastern province and back to the capital.
On Monday the cyclists will head to Huye district in stage 2, a distance of 120.5kms.
The race comprises 34 climbs with a combined elevation of 17.025kms.
Although every day is important there are critical stages that can determine the final result of this year’s race.
These include stage 4 from Rusizi district to Rubavu district all in western Rwanda with 8 climbs, a distance of over 206.3kms, stage 7 with 4.5kms time trial on the famous Wall of Kigali and the last day on the hills of Kigali with 7 climbs.
The race attracted three previous Rwandan winners, Samuel Mugisha, the 2018 Tour of Rwanda winner, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, the 2015 winner, and Joseph Areruya, 2017 winner.
This is the second edition of the competition since Tour du Rwanda was upgraded to 2.1 category race of the International Cycling Union (UCI) from 2.2 category.
On the continent Gabon’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo shares the same category with Tour of Rwanda.
Eritrean Kudus Merhawi won the Tour du Rwanda race last year after covering a distance of 959.1kms in eight stages.
The Tour du Rwanda started in 2009, and took its place in the continental African calendar.