As a result of general repairs of all major roads nationwide by the Federal Ministry of Works, the UCI 2.2 Maltonic International Tour of Nigeria has had to be postponed, with no set date fixed for the future. The recent UCI 2.2 Tour du Cameroun was also the victim of similarly poor organisation, with several stages cancelled after just the first stage completed, but eventually revived itself three days later.
The tour was scheduled to begin this Monday, March 14, and run through till March 25. African website allAfrica.com reports that the secretary of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Mr Olumide Bamiduro, intends to meet with the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ascertain exact dates on the finish of the road repairs on particular routes, to enable the 10-day event to be rescheduled.
"We quite appreciate the fact that the agency is rendering such a social service to the populace but it is quite unfortunate that the timing coincided with our programme, and we have since notified the World Cycling Federation (UCI) of the development," said Mr Bamiduro. "We want to be specific now and know exactly when they will finish, so that we can start our road mapping," he added.
According to allAfrica.com, 10 countries, namely Britain, Burkina Faso, Germany, Italy, Malta, Estonia, China, South Africa, Egypt and Cameroon were set to join Nigeria for the largest-ever cycling race in the country, with the host nation slated to field three teams before the setback occurred. Each team was to be comprised of four cyclists each.
Despite the interruption, CFN Secretary Bamiduro was optimistic, believing the roadworks, once completed, will ensure accurate timing and reduce the potential for accidents.