Only 22 years old, Joseph Areruya is the first Rwandan to win the African Cyclist Trophy of the year. This trophy was created seven years ago by the organisers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, always ready to encourage the development of African cycling, rewarding the rider of the continent who achieved the best performances of the season and managed by its influence to make known African cycling on the world.
Joseph Areruya, who was second of this Trophy in 2017 behind South African Louis Meintjes, won the highest number of votes from the jury chaired by five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault and made up of twenty-five members African riders, coaches and leaders, organizers of cycling events on the continent as well as specialized journalists, African and European, who follow all the cycling races in Africa. The patron of this 2018 promotion was Thomas Voeckler, succeeding Chris Froome.
"Joseph Areruya deserves this trophy this year, he has dominated all major events on the African continent before moving to professional team Delko-Marseille. He is a strong and courageous rider who can go further. He impressed me against the professionnals during the last Tropicale,» said Bernard Hinault.
This praise from a former great champion like Bernard Hinault confirms the broad consensus obtained from the jury that designated the Rwandan rider as the most beautiful representative of African cycling for this season 2018. His victory at the Tropicale as well as the Tour de l'Espoir and these two continental African titles on the road-race and in the U23 ITT impressed the members of the jury.
Behind Joseph Areruya, the highly experienced South African Daryl Impey of the Australian World Tour team Mitchelton-Scott took second place, followed by the Eritrean Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier who completed the podium.
"The tropical Amissa Bongo is the showcase of the progress of African cyclists for 14 years but also the developer of future great talents like Joseph Areruya, says Bernard Hinault. The Trophy reward the riders who made it possible to shine the African cycling and not only on the Tour de France or the biggest races of the world. I am sure, one day we will find these young African hopefuls to aim for the greatest victories."
THE RANKING 2018
1– Joseph ARERUYA (Rwanda – Delko-Marseille)
2 – Daryl IMPEY (South Africa – Mitchelton-Scott)
3 – Amanuel GHEBREIGZABHIER (Eritrea – Dimension Data)
4 – Merhawi KUDUS (Eritrea– Dimension Data)
5 – Youcef REGUIGUI (Algeria – Sovac-Natura4Ever)
6 – Samuel MUGISHA (Rwanda – Dimension Data for Qhubeka)
7 – Azzedine LAGAB (Algeria – GSP)
8 – Salim KIPKEMBOI (Kenya – Bike Aid)
9 – Clint HENDRICKX (South Africa)
10 – Isiaka CISSE (Ivory Coast)
11 – Henok MULUBRHAN (Eritrea)
12 – Stefan DE BOD (South Africa – Dimension Data for Qhubeka)
13. Mathias SORGHO (Burkina Faso)
14. Bonaventure UWIZEYIMANA (Rwanda)
15. Clovis KAMZONG (Cameroon)
2012 : Natnael BERHANE (Eritrea)
2013 : Louis MEINTJES (South Africa)
2014 : Mekseb DEBESAY (Eritrea)
2015 : Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT (Eritrea)
2016 : Tesfom OKUBAMARIAM (Eritrea)
2017 : Louis MEINTJES (South Africa)
2018 : Joseph ARERUYA (Rwanda)