Thursday, February 12, 2015

African Continental Champs: Kudus wins U23 TT; Ndayisenga 2nd

The African Continental Championships are in full flight down in South Africa with the time trials currently happening in the wilds of Wartburg with the individual trials happening today. The continental championships are always a stark reminder of the haves and have-nots in African cycling with nations such as South Africa, Eritrea and Rwanda on really good equipment with riders in their cycling infancy such as Tanzania and Botswana riding stuff from the mid-00's.
In the U23 TT, it was no surprise to see Eritrean Merhawi Kudus take the title as a) he is super talented and b) he has a big support machine behind him in MTN-Qhubeka. Kudus finished the Vuelta last year and is a professional so it is kind of cheap to see him able to take a U23 crown. (Yes, I am aware pro continental riders can ride U23 races but it annoys the hell out of me.) Who I was excited about was Rwandan rider Valens Ndayisenga, who I think could be the next Rwandan rider to make a name for himself and the first to ride on a strong level in Europe. Adrien Niyonshuti paved the way for Rwandan riders and I think that Ndayisenga, who trained at the UCI World Cycling Center last summer, could bust through. Yeah, Kudus beat him by 2 minutes but this isn't even Ndayisenga's specialty.

Also, Ndayisenga doesn't ride for MTN. He is still riding the the Rwandan National Team with Jock Boyer and they aren't exactly swimming in the money. Call me sentimental but seeing a kid that was just a baby during the genocide rise up and get a silver medal in the African Continentals...that is inspiring.

No comments:

Post a Comment