Adrien Niyonshuti will return to competition at the Tour of Rwanda beginning on Sunday, November 17. The Rwandan will line up with Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung for its final race of the season. The race forms part of the UCI Africa Tour.
Niyonshuti was forced to sit out the most of the 2013 season due to a deep vein thrombosis which was discovered in February. The treatment, which involved blood thinners, kept him out of competition all year. Coming back at the Tour of Rwanda is a bit symbolic, as it was where he made his start.
"Adrien started his love for cycling in his national tour, and in a week's time he will make his comeback to racing in the same race," said Team Principal Douglas Ryder.
"It is poetic, and he is really looking forward to being in the peloton again, something that he has missed all year. His motivation is incredibly high, it is so nice to see him happy and healthy again and ready to race."
The MTN-Qhubeka team will be sending a competitive line-up to the race. Under 23 road race world championship silver medalist Louis Meintjes will be going to support Niyonshuti along with South African champion Jay Thomson. Songezo Jim and Johann van Zyl complete the all African line-up.
"As an African-registered team, we try and support the UCI Africa Tour as much as we can," Ryder said. "The Tour of Rwanda is also very special to the team because Adrien is from Rwanda. The team we're sending to support and be with Adrien in the race speaks of the respect his teammates have for him. We're excited about his return and thus we're sending a really strong team in his comeback race in his home country."
"I am very happy to be taking part in the race," Niyonshuti said. "It's a great opportunity. I think it will be a good race for us. The team has big support behind it and it can make Rwanda more famous. There are so many people who watch the race on the side of the roads and this support will be incredible for us. It's good for Rwandan cycling and it will be good for us if we can win this race," he said.