Kenyan Cyclists Get their Game on
Kenya’s national cycling team members are finally down to business as they take part in a number of international races. The squad that is made of 7 cyclists and the national head coach Simon Blake is in France for a month’s specialized training. From here they will compete in three gruelling championships on some of the scenic routes that host the annual Tour de France from...
Seven other cyclists, mostly fast-rising youngsters, were in Rwanda for last weekend’s annual Kwita Izina Tour in Kigali, a prelude to November’s Tour de Rwanda that features on the international cycling calendar. This was however dominated by Rwandan, Ethiopian and Algerian riders.
After their tour of France, a national squad of five cyclists will be selected for a race in Trinidad and Tobago in November. Samuel Ekiru, Paul Ariko Agorir and Hillary Kiprotich, who represented Kenya at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, are in the team that is making its second appearance in France. John Njoroge, who finished 25th at last year’s Maputo All Africa Games is also in France. Njoroge, perhaps, will be have the most memorable return to France especially in the Letape du Tour that will be held in two stages on July 8 and July 14. Last year, Njoroge finished 13th overall from total entries of 9,000 cyclists drawn from 35 countries across the world.
Coach Blake said a Kenyan featuring at world’s most populous cycling championship, the Tour de France might look a pipe-dream but he believes it’s a dream that can come to fruition with proper structures and equipment in place. “We want to see how much we can do in Kenya. We have joined hands with cycling authorities to work on youth programs since that is a culture we need to cultivate just like what is happening in athletics,” said Blake. “That is why we have deliberately stationed the camp in Iten that is the hub of the country’s athletics so as to drawn inspiration.”
Mwangi said there already bearing fruits having taken a young team to Rwanda “We need support from the government and sponsors especially at this time are planning for a Tour of Kenya,”said Mwangi. Mwangi said their target is not only to host the annual Africa Championships in future but also the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 All Africa Games.