As Rwanda prepares to host the 2021 Tour of Rwanda, riders have warned that the lack of new cycling equipment could affect their chances of winning the tournament for the first time since it started taking place in the UCI 2.1 race last year.
Last week’s Grand Prix winner Chantal Biya, Moise Mugisha, took first place in last year’s Tour of Rwanda edition and pledged to take a better step this year by winning the race.
However, hopes of winning the tournament on his native soil could be severely damaged if he and his teammates do not get new or well-maintained bikes ahead of the tournament to avoid the challenge the team faced during the tournament. the race in Cameroon due to lack of spare parts.
“There was a time, for example, [Samuel] Mugisha’s bike had a problem in the middle of the race and was left behind due to difficulties with spare parts. We are going to prepare well for the Tour of Rwanda and I think we have all it takes to win it as long as we have new equipment, ”Mugisha told reporters at a reception dinner to celebrate the achievements. by Team Rwanda on Tuesday.
The bikes that Rwandan cyclists currently use in cycling tournaments are a gift from President Paul Kagame. The President donated 18 road bikes and eight time trial bikes to Team Rwanda in December 2015 following their historic success at the 2014 Tour of Rwanda.
In response, Rwandan Cycling Federation President Abdallah Murenzi said his office was in talks with the Sports Ministry to sort out the issue ahead of the start of the Tour of Rwanda 2021 competition.
“I hope that new bikes will be available before the start of the Tour du Rwanda cycling race. And if the bikes are not available on time, we can also find new spare parts for the bikes our riders are using right now to ensure they perform well in next year’s tournament, ”said Murenzi.
The 2021 Tour of Rwanda is scheduled for February 21-28 next year.