Tour of Rwanda

Photos and Text by Julien Goldstein

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Photos and Text by Julien Goldstein

This year, Rwanda will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its cycling tour being part of the UCI Continental Circuits, a source of pride for a country still marked by the atrocities of the 1994 genocide. Rwanda’s cyclists are children of that generation - many orphaned and traumatized by the massacres of their elders - who have formed the first peloton from this small country in Africa's Great Lakes region.

The Tour of Rwanda has become during the last decade a notable event of the cycling calendar, like the tropical Amissa Bongo, in Gabon, open to professionals of the World Tour since 2006.

The Federation, led by its president, Aimable Bayingana, aspires to produce a race on par with the bests of Europe. The president of the Belgian Federation, Tom Van Damme, was able to witness the passage in Kigali of a paved mountain that has nothing to envy of those in Flanders. In the last two years, this place has already achieved cult-status under the name of "Wall of Kigali."

After the tenth edition next August, the Tour of Rwanda will be promoted in 2019 to a Category-1 UCI road race and moved up to February, which should draw more professional UCI World Tour riders. This year, the Tour of Rwanda hosted 17 teams. In November, the season is over for professionals," explains Aimable Bayingana. "In February, we hope this time they will come face the Rwandan riders and the best Africans on our mountain roads. It's these confrontations with the pros that will make us grow even bigger.”

See the full set of images on the Getty Images website.