UCI president David Lappartient has confirmed that the 2025 UCI Road World Championships will be held in Africa, with Rwanda facing competition from Morocco. However, Rwanda is the firm favourite to host the first World Championships on African soil.
Lappartient was at the Tour of Rwanda on Monday and then held high-level talks with officials and Rwanda President Paul Kagame.
Lapparitient has been supportive of Rwanda’s bid since he became UCI President in 2017. Rwanda formally submitted a bid two years ago and has reportedly produced a detailed and convincing bid document.
"The World Championship will take place in Africa in 2025, that's for sure," Lappartient told L'Equipe.
"We have two bids, from Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) and also Tangier, in Morocco."
According to L’Equipe, Rwanda is the clear favourite to win the race to host the World Championships.
"Rwanda has taken a serious lead, their case is very solid with already existing infrastructure and enormous possibilities for adaptation," L’Equipe quoted an unidentified source as saying.
"It’s a candidacy that ticks a lot of boxes, it’s the favourite because it would also bring a sense of renewal to cycling."
Rwanda has enforced strict anti-COVID-19 measures and so avoided the worst of the global pandemic. The Tour du Rwanda has roots back to 1988 as a regional race, and was elevated to the international UCI calendar in 2008. This year’s race was postponed from February to May, with Israel Start-Up Nation, Total Direct Energie, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec and B&B Hotels taking on Continental and local teams.
Brayan Sanchez (Team Medellin) won the opening stage, with Alan Boileau (B&B Hotels) winning stage 2 and 18-year-old Colombian Santiago Umba (Androni Giocattoli) taking the race lead. The Tour du Rwanda ends in Kigali on Sunday after eight stages of racing.
UCI officials are due to visit Rwanda and Morocco to study the technical details of their bids in the summer, with the UCI due to announce the host nation during this year’s World Championships in Louvain, Belgium in September.
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