Adrien Niyonshuti Rides Alpe d’Huez

Adrien Niyonshuti raced professionally from 2008 – 2017, with a South African based team MTN Qhubeka, later Team Dimension Data. He is, to date, the only Rwandan cyclist to race at the world tour level.

He was never afforded the opportunity to race in the Le Tour de France, the greatest cycling event in the world.

Until today…

Adrien rode a Qhubeka bicycle up the iconic Alpe d’Huez climb. For those of you not in cycling, that’s a single-speed bike, no gears, up a 13.5km climb with gradients averaging 6-8%. Not easy by any stretch. Adrien did it as he does all things with joy, grace, and humor — attracting everyone from kids to journalists to his orbit. Laughing and engaging with the thousands of other cyclists as he made his way up the climb prior to the actual race, he was the man of the hour and 36 minutes.

After a few interviews, Adrien received the King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey on the actual Tour de France stage. As he stood on that stage, I watched with tears welling in my eyes. This had always been his dream. Although it’s not quite how he pictured it in 2008, he became a Tour de France champion today in the hearts of all the fans as they learned about Qhubeka Charity and Adrien’s own project, the Adrien Niyonshuti Cycling Academy.

It’s never been about him….it’s always been about getting more African kids on bikes. Because that’s just who he is…