Team Rwanda’s original five: Where are the pioneers now?

Nathan Byukusenge (L) and Abraham Ruhumuriza retired from competitive cycling in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Ruhumuriza won Tour du Rwanda a record five times before it turned international in 2009 (photo credit: The New Times

For nearly a decade now, Rwanda has been a constant feature in top five of the cycling nations on the continent, and the sport is widely regarded as the most performing sport in Rwanda.

But, before the revival of the national team under the ‘Team Rwanda’ brand in 2007, cycling was one of the least active and least popular sports in Rwanda. Anyone, including some sports reporters, would struggle to name three riders if surprisingly asked.

Until 2009, Tour du Rwanda was an amateur race and only attracted local teams and riders. Today, it is considered as the biggest cycling event on the continent.

Jonathan ‘Jock’ Boyer, a former professional rider and the first American to race Tour de France, is synonymous with the formation of Team Rwanda, having arrived in the country in 2006 before assembling the team and flying it to the United States to race Tour of the Gila in New Mexico.

Read more at: New Times