It is already the 4th consecutive participation for BIKE AID at one of the most important races in Africa and the German team has already lot of good memories to this race. In its first ever season as professional ranked team 2014, Mekseb Debesay sealed his overall win in the UCI Africa Tour with claiming 2 stage wins in Rwanda wearing BIKE AID jersey. Also in 2015, the German squad could win two stages, but one thing has always been missed out: a top spot in the GC!
According to the team coordinator, Timo Schäfer, winning the race is one of their key targetsfor 2017.“Tour du Rwanda is one of the most important races for us in Africa and we come this year with highest ambitions to challenge for the General Classification (GC),” Schäfer told.
Schäfer continues that: “Tour du Rwanda means a lot to us and is a very special race in our schedule. In 2014, we won the Individual ranking (KOM) of the UCI Africa tour with Mekseb Debesay (now Team Dimension Data) and also in 2015 we won 2 stages.”The 9th edition of Tour du Rwanda will get underway from November 12 to 19 and has attracted a total of 17 teams including six national teams, six UCI Continental teams and five club teams.The roster is led by German Nikodemus Holler, winner of 2017 Tour of Cameroon, 2017 Tour of Poyang Lake (China) and finished third at this year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, Gabon (UCI 2.1).
Holler will be backed by Dutch Adne van Engelen, who won the 2016 Romsee-Stavelot (Belgium) and finished 3rd overall at 2017, Tour of Cameroon. A key part in the team will the Kenyans Salim Kipkemboi (finished second in youth classification at 2017 Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania), Suleiman Kangangi (finished third at Tour of Poyang Lake) and Geoffrey Langat play, as they are in a good shape and are experienced in this race.
„We know our ambitions are high and we face a strong competition. The Rwandans always ride very strong at their „home-race“ and also other teams come with very strong riders such as Moroccan Anass Ait el Abdia from world Tour Team UAE Emirates or Dimension Data with Joseph Areruya. But we are well prepared and ready to take on the challenge. We have a strong team there and showed already that we are able to win GC’s of stage races this year“, Timo Schäfer rounding up.