UCI Continental Team Development
Team Africa Rising aims to assist in launching 10 UCI Continental or Continental Pro Teams by 2023 to grow the sport of professional cycling on the African Continent.
UCI Continental Team Development
After over a decade in Rwanda, Team Africa Rising witnessed the growth of cycling and how Rwanda became the catalyst of that growth on the African Continent. The challenge facing the cyclists on the continent was moving them from the National Team level to the first rung on the ladder to up the professional ranks, UCI Continental Teams. Comparing the growth of cycling on the African continent vs. Asia, TAR noticed a glaring gap. In 2018, Asia fielded 42 UCI Continental or higher level teams. Africa fielded two, both in Algeria. To become sustainable and provide cyclists with the experience necessary to advance to the World Tour level, Africa required more professional teams. The continent also needed to move away from dependence on government funding to private and business investment.
2019 African UCI Continental Teams
The long-term sustainability of cycling on the African continent lies in its ability to build professional UCI Continental Teams or higher in the sport. By removing the power from the national teams and government Federations and enlisting the support of the business and private sector, cycling will grow unimpeded by the government bureaucracy.
Team Benediction Excel Energy is the first UCI Continental Team registered in Rwanda. Founded by Felix Sempoma and Benoit Munyakindi, this team boasts the Rwandan National Road Champion, Didier Munyaneza. Their first race was the recently completed 2019 Tour of Rwanda.
Bai Sicasal Petro du Luanda
Bai Sicasal is the first Angolan based UCI Continental Team. It boasts a club team as well as the professional Continental Team with two foreign riders, one, American Timothy Rugg, multiple stage winner at the Tour of Rwanda. Bai Sicasal will be racing this season in Africa and Portugal. Photo courtesy of Nils Laengner.
Pro Touch Sports launched as a UCI Continental Team in 2019 in response to providing much-needed opportunities to young riders in South Africa to gain experience to move up to the World Tour Level.
National Cycling Federation
In 2018, Benin elected Romuald Hazoume President of the Benin Cycling Federation. Romuald is a world famous artist with a deep passion and commitment to the sport of cycling. In just a short few years he’s established the Benin National Team as a competitive team, earning points on the Africa Tour. Team Africa Rising is assisting Benin with parts, kids, supplies and recently, a mechanic’s training course run by former Team Rwanda Cycling mechanic, Jamie Bissell. Next up, a coaching course and a Level 2 mechanics course for this rising country.
Team Access-Cocoon founded by a group of committed cyclists and business people in Lagos, Nigeria has its eyes on the future. These stakeholders secured funding in 2019 to lay the foundation of the first UCI Continental Team based in Nigeria. They had hoped to launch in 2020 but is currently on hold. In the meantime, they are committed to growing the sports and host the Lagos City Crit Invitational and have recently worked with the government of Nigeria, the Nigerian Cycling Federation and Team Africa Rising to reopen the velodrome in Abuja, Nigeria.
Lunsar Cycling & National Team
Team Africa Rising collaborates with a Karim Kamara, a young passionate cyclist who runs Village Bicycle Project, his own club team, Lunsar Cycling, and multiple local races throughout the year. Recently TAR sent Adrien Niyonshuti, two-time Rwandan Olympic cyclist to Sierra Leone to teach a hands on coaching course. Adrien also observed a local race and continues to offer coaching support to the young cyclists he met while in Sierra Leone. TAR sent Karim to a UCI Race Organizers course in December of this year with hopes he will continue the grassroots growth of the sport.
Updates from Around the Continent
UPDATE on Isata and Women's Cycling & Mechanic Training in Sierra Leone Isata got married! She's still running her shop and riding her bike showing all women you can do it all! Isata's video riding to her wedding reception with her new husband was incredible. If...
Learn more about this remarkable Kenyan woman who introduces other women to the world of cycling.
Written by our Team Africa Rising Correspondent at the 2020 Tour de France -- Graphic courtesy of ProCyclingStats 6,5,4,3,2… It’s time for Le Tour de France 2020! This year presents maybe the most challenging environment for the race’s organisers, the teams, their...
HOW TO SUPPORT TEAM DEVELOPMENT
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To help these teams be successful Team Africa Rising assists with coaching, mechanics, support staff training and marketing and sponsorship. We assist in placing experts with teams to help them navigate the process. We also promote and market the teams to give their sponsors additional exposure. For all of this, we need your help!
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