The 2018 African Continental Road Championship officially opens in Kigali
In a colorful opening ceremony held on Tuesday night, the 2018 UCI African Continental Road Championship was officially opened at Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village.
Hosted by Rwanda for the second time in eight years, the 13th edition of the annual Africa’s biggest cycling event runs from February 13 and will be coming to a close on February 18. It was first held in Rwanda in 2010.
The official opening ceremony which lasted close to two hours, had in presence the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINSPOC), John Ntagengwa as the guest of honor.
“We are very honored and pleased to welcome the African Continental Road Championship to Rwanda again. There is no doubt it is going to be a memorable success. I know all the participants have put in greats efforts and we will ensure a conducive environment throughout. Good luck to all the cyclists, may the best teams.” Ntagengwa said in his remarks while officially declaring the championship open.
Also present among chief guests were, Dr. Mohamed Wagih Azzam, President of the Confederation of African Cycling (CAC), Ambassador Valens Munyabagishya, President of Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee as well as Aimable Bayingana, the president of Rwanda Cycling Federation, FERWACY.
In his welcome remarks, Rwanda Cycling Federation president Aimable Bayingana thanked the Confederation of African Cycling (CAC) for trusting Rwanda and FERWACY to accommodate this prestigious event and promised neat organization throughout the entire period of the races.
“I can’t thank enough the Confederation of African Cycling for once again trusting us to host the African championship, we will never take it for granted. The event is possible also thanks to the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Sports and Culture, and partners.” Ferwacy president Bayingana said in his remarks.
Organized annually since 2005, the African Continental Road Championship has steadily grown over the years to become one of the continent’s sporting events and Rwanda has been a great in that growth journey as reiterated by CAC president Dr. Mohamed Wagih Azzam in this remarks.
The five-day African championships attracted a total 167 riders, 122 men and 45 female cyclists, representing 23 African countries. Participants will be vying for medals in Individual Time Trial (ITT), Team Time Trial (TTT) and road races in different age and gender categories.
The 2016 edition was hosted by Morocco while last year’s championship was held in Cairo, Egypt.