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by Neal Rogers
June 23, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: UCI rule changes for 2018 include eight-man teams for Grand Tours, maximum peloton size of 176 riders; Team Sky announces Tour de France team intent on bringing Froome a fourth title; Froome: ‘This year’s Tour route doesn’t necessarily suit me’; BMC Racing announces Tour de France roster built around Richie Porte as sole leader; After runner-up finish at Giro d’Italia, Quintana ready to take on Froome at Tour de France; Gilbert seeking a third Belgian national road title in Antwerp; Tour de France champion Greg LeMond signs huge carbon fibre deal with Deakin University; Team Rwanda invited to Colorado Classic; Research delves into which nations hold overall best athletic prowess across all sports; Man rides 1,400 miles to hear deceased daughter’s heartbeat on Father’s Day
Team Rwanda Cycling has accepted an invitation to participate in the inaugural Colorado Classic, marking its first appearance in a UCI-sanctioned race of this caliber in the United States, organizers announced today.
Team Rwanda was founded in 2007 by a group of cycling-industry colleagues after spotting raw talent compete at the first Wooden Bike Classic in 2006. Since then, they have exponentially grown the sport of cycling in Rwanda, a country torn apart in the 1994 Genocide and never a cycling force on the continent.
The team was initially coached by Jock Boyer who, in 1981, became the first American to compete in the Tour de France. With assistance from the Rwandan government and the Rwandan Cycling Federation, Boyer and Kimberly Coats have grown the team to the point where it now fields more than 35 cyclists — men and women — in all levels and disciplines.
Obed Ruvogera (right) masseur of Team Rwanda who was a former rider on the team himself.
Team Rwanda’s first six years were chronicled in the award-winning documentary “Rising From Ashes,” narrated by Forest Whitaker. That film culminated with Team Rwanda’s Adrien Niyonshuti, after narrowly missing out on one of seven Olympic road race spots awarded to African riders, qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games in mountain biking. Most recently, Joseph Areruya, who came up through the program, won a stage at the 2017 U23 Giro D’Italia, marking the first stage win by a Rwandan at a UCI race.
Team Rwanda plans to compete in at least one U.S. race as a tune-up to the Colorado Classic and will begin its training in Colorado on Aug. 1