La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Race to kick off on Monday

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Race (Photo: organizers)

The 2019 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo Race will kick off in Bongoville, Gabon on Monday, January 21, 2019 and will conclude on Saturday in Libreville, the nation’s capital. 

The annual event, which was held for the first time in 2006, is a road race and is part of the UCI Africa Tour.

Ninety riders are expected to the start of the first stage of the race on Monday between Bongoville and Moanda. Forty three riders will be making their debut on the roads of Gabon.

The Race

The seven-stage race will cover a total of 860 kilometers, this time visiting Equatorial Guinea via Cameroon and a total of 15 teams have been confirmed to compete – including 10 African national teams and five professional teams.

The 10 African national teams include Rwanda, Gabon, Morocco, Eritrea, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Cameroon, while the five professional teams are: Direct Energie (France), Vital Concept-B&B Hotels (France), Adroni Giocatolli (Italy), Arkea-Samsic (France) and Pro Touch (South Africa).

French cyclists have dominated the race finishing first in 9 of the 13 editions. Natnael Berhane of Eritrea broke the French domination when he became the African cyclist to win the race in 2014.

André Greipel will be the headliner of this 14 th edition. The German sprinter is the runner in activity, record holder of the number of victories with 155 successes including 11 stages of the Tour de France. The leader of the Arkéa-Samsic team will face other very fast sprint competitors like the Italians Niccolo Bonifazio (Direct Energie) and Matteo Pelucchi (Androni-Giocattoli), the French Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) and Lorenzo Manzin (Vital Concept-B & B Hotels), the Algerian Youcef Reguigui. 

Daniel Teklehaimanot, an icon of African cycling, returns to the Tropicale after seven years of absence. The Eritrean, who wore the best climber’s jersey on the 2015 Tour de France, was the first African black to win a stage on the Tropical in Gabon in 2011.

Joseph Areruya puts his title in play. The Rwandan has moved into the professional ranks in France in the team of Delko-Marseille, since his victory on the 2018 edition. Designated African Cyclist of the 2018 season by a jury of specialist chaired by the five-time winner of the Tour de France Bernard Hinault, he will be the leader next week of his national team of Rwanda.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2019 roadmap

January 21: Stage 1: Bongoville – Moanda (100km)

January 22: Stage 2: Franceville – Okondja (170km)

January 23: Stage 3: Leconi – Franceville (100km)

January 24: Stage 4: Mitzic – Oyem (120km)

January 25: Stage 5: Bitam – Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea, 120km)

January 26: Stage 6: Bitam – Oyem (110km)

January 27: Stage 7: Nkok – Libreville (140km)

 Past Winners

2006: Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)

2007: Frédéric Guesdon (France)

2008: Lilian Jégou (France)

2009: Matthieu Ladagnous (France)

2010: Anthony Charteau (France)

2011: Anthony Charteau (France)

2012: Anthony Charteau (France)

2013: Yohann Gène (France)

2014: Natnael Berhane (Eritrea)

2015: Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia)

2016: Adrien Petit (France)

2017: Yohann Gène (France)

2018: Joseph Areruya (Rwanda)