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Tour du Rwanda date: May 2 – May 9, 2021
Start: Kigali, Rwanda
Finish: Kigali, Rwanda
Live streaming: daily highlights on Eurosport and GCN
The Tour du Rwanda has roots back to 1988 as a regional race, and was elevated to the international UCI calendar in 2008. After the postponement of its original February 21 to 28 dates this year due to a surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases, the 13th edition will take place from May 2 to 9 for eight days of racing covering 913.3 kilometres and 16,347 metres of climbing.
Sixteen teams are confirmed to participate, with the lone WorldTeam representation being Israel Start-Up Nation. There will be a trio of ProTeams – Total Direct Energie, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec and B&B Hotels p/b KTM. There are seven Continental teams and three national teams in the field: Team Medellin, Tarteletto-Isorex, Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling, Team TSG Terengganu, Rwanda National Team, Equipe Nationale d’Algerie, Ethiopia National Team, Eritrea National Team, Team Bike Aid, Team Pro Touch. Two Rwanda-based teams will be Benediction Ignite and SKOL Adrien Cycling Academy.
The 2020 winner, Natnael Tesfatsion, who rode for the NTT Continental team, has moved to Italian-based Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec and is expected to race the Giro d’Italia. His teammate Jhonatan Restrepo is expected to return, having won four stages in Rwanda last year. Last year’s runner-up Moise Mugisha is questionable for a return, as he has been reported to be in a dispute witih his SKOL Adrien Cycling Academy team. From Israel Start-Up Nation, look for Canadian climber James Piccoli and Estonian national road champion Omer Lahav to contest for stages. It is the fourth time the WorldTour squad will compete in Rwanda.
Race week begins with 50 kilometres with one classified climb into Rwamagana, then finishes with a 10-lap circuit of the city. Stages 2 and 3 both have mountain finshes, Monday heading south to Huye for 120.5 kilmetres with four classified climbs and Tuesday a full day of 3,680 metres of climbing over 171.6km with six classified climbs.
The stage profile on the fourth day is a little more tame, but still has 2,277 metres of vertical gain over 123.9 kilometres, and five categorized climbs. Stage 5 takes the peloton back into Kigali after a lumpy 149.3 kilometres, which is a bit of reprive before stage 6. The Friday course serves up 2,814 metres of climbing over 152.6km to the HC finish at Mont Kigali.
The penultimate stage is a 4.5km time trial in Kigali, with an uphill finish with of 400 metres of cobbles along the last 1.2km section of Mur de Kigali. The finale features a rolling circuit in Kigali with multiple climbs, three each, over Rebero and Mur de Kigali summits, again tackling the cobbles. It then ends with a mountaintop finish at Canal Olympia, 2.8km that averages 7.3 per cent.
For the first time in race history, Eurosport and GCN will be showing daily highlights.
Tour du Rwanda stages
- May 2, Stage 1- Kigali to Rwamagana, 115.6km
- May 3, Stage 2 - Kigali to Huye, 120.5km
- May 4, Stage 3 - Nyanza to Gicumbi, 171.6km
- May 5, Stage 4 - Kigali to Musanze, 123.9km
- May 6, Stage 5 - Nyagatare to Kigali, 149.3km
- May 7, Stage 6 - Kigali to Kigali (Mont Kigali), 152.6km
- May 8, Stage 7 - Kigali ITT, 4.5km
- May 9, Stage 8 - Kigali to Kigali, 75.3km
Tour du Rwanda teams
- Israel Start-Up Nation
- Total Direct Energie
- Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
- B&B Hotels p/b KTM
- Team Medellin
- Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling
- Team TSG Terengganu
- Benediction Ignite
- SKOL Adrien Cycling Academy
- Rwanda National Team
- Equipe Nationale d’Algerie
- Ethiopia National Team
- Eritrea National Team
- Team Bike Aid
- Team Pro Touch
Tour du Rwanda 2021
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