Photo gallery: The crowds and the excitement of the 2016 Tour du Rwanda

by Matt de Neef

The biggest races on the 2016 cycling calendar are long finished but around the world a number of smaller races are still happening. One such race is the UCI2.2 Tour du Rwanda which concluded its eighth edition in the nation’s capital of Kigali over the weekend.

In the grand scheme of things the Tour du Rwanda is a small race, attended by Continental, national teams and club teams. But over the weekend this fledgling race caught the attention of the cycling world thanks to a drone video of the final climb of the race’s penultimate stage.

The video caught people’s attention not just because of the climb it showed — a steep cobbled climb reminiscent of the famous bergs of Flanders — but because of the size of the road-side crowd. Unlike the recent Road World Championships in Qatar, the Tour of Rwanda attracted huge crowds; thousands of fans enjoying good, hard bike racing through their local streets.

The video above shows Rwanda’s Valens Ndayisenga (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) riding away to a solo victory on the “Wall of Kigali” while wearing the leader’s jersey. The 22-year-old won stage 2 earlier in the race and would go on to take the overall title — his second victory at the Tour du Rwanda.

The gallery below documents the eighth edition of the Tour du Rwanda, giving a sense of the terrain and the excitement of the huge crowds. It’s terrific to see such growth and interest in African cycling, particularly in a nation with such a tumultuous past. We hope you enjoy the images below, brought to you courtesy of the Tour du Rwanda media team.

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