Team Rwanda was founded in 2006 by a group of cycling industry legends and friends after watching some amazing raw talent compete at the first Wooden Bike Classic. That was the beginning of Team Rwanda Cycling.
Today we field over 25 cyclists in all levels and disciplines of cycling. These young men and women are role models and ambassadors for their country. Rwanda has become a cycling nation in just nine short years. We work in collaboration with the Rwandan Cycling Federation (FERWACY) and the Ministry of Sport and Culture (MINISPOC). In December 2015, President Kagame hosted a reception for Team Rwanda where he stated "we have been an example to other sports and because we have worked hard we have earned Rwanda’s support. It is time for us to step up and give you what you need to continue your success." He sponsored the purchase of 18 new Pinarello road racing bicycles and eight Pinarello Time Trial bikes.
Our mission has been to not only recruit, train, and compete in cycling, but also to teach and train the next generation of coaches, mechanics, nutritionists, etc. for the program by modeling the necessary infrastructure of running a first-world cycling program. Ultimately, we want Rwandans to run Team Rwanda Cycling while we expand our proven program into other countries and develop competitive cycling in Africa - for both men and women. To reflect this grand mission of expanding our holistic approach to cycling into other countries with histories of conflict, we changed our official name to Team Africa Rising (TAR) in 2015.
In the 2016 season, Rwanda had five riders racing professionally around the world: Adrien Niyonshuti is our most high profile rider, having ridden with the MTN Qhubeka team for many years. He rode for Team Dimension Data on their World Tour team. Tour of Rwanda 2014 and 2016 winner Valens Ndayisenga and Bonaventure ‘Bona’ Uwizeyimana raced for Team Dimension Data’s Continental Team this season and Tour of Rwanda 2015 winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana raced for Stradelli-BikeAid team.
For 2017, Adrien has re-signed for the Team Dimension Data World Tour team and remains Rwanda's sole cyclist riding at the highest level. Valens has moved to the UCI Continental Radland-Tirol Cycling Team based in Austria and our two young rising stars Joseph Areruya and Samuel Mugisha have signed for the Team Dimension Data Continental Team and are racing all over Europe with this strong group of U23 riders.
In early 2017, we also officially announced the launch of a new women’s initiative - Africa Women Cycling. This initiative is focused on promoting the development and creation of women's cycling programmes across Africa. Click HERE to learn more.