Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will line up in its final race this season when it starts the Tour of Rwanda on Sunday, 17 November. The race forms part of the UCI Africa Tour and as Africa’s first Professional Continental team, it’s of absolute importance to race on the continent says Team Principal, Douglas Ryder.
The race will see the return of Rwandan, Adrien Niyonshuti, who through illness was forced to sit out the most of the 2013 season.
“Adrien started his love for cycling in his national tour and in a weeks time he will make his comeback to racing in the same race,” Ryder said. “It is poetic and he is really looking forward to being in the peloton again, something that he has missed all year. His motivation is incredibly high, it is so nice to see him happy and healthy again and ready to race.”
The team will be sending a competitive line up to the race. Under 23 World Road Race silver medalist Louis Meintjes will be going to support Niyonshuti along with South African champion Jay Thomson. Songezo Jim and Johann van Zyl complete the all African line up.
“As an African registered team we try and support the UCI Africa Tour as much as we can,” Ryder said. “The Tour of Rwanda is also very special to the team because Adrien is from Rwanda. The team we’re sending to support and be with Adrien in the race speaks of the respect his teammaates have for him. We’re excited about his return and thus we’re sending a really strong team in his comeback race in his home country.”
“I am very happy to be taking part in the race,” Niyonshuti said. “It’s a great opportunity and I am really happy that my team is sending our riders to support me in the race. I think it will be a good race for us. The team has big support behind it and it can make Rwanda more famous. There are so many people who watch the race on the side of the roads and this support will be incredible for us. It’s good for Rwandan cycling and it will be good for us if we can win this race,” he concluded.
Race information: http://en.tourofrwanda.com/
Tour of Rwanda (Rwanda) – (November 17-24 / UCI 2.2) Adrien Niyonshuti (RWA), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Jay Thomson (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Songezo Jim (RSA)