Adrien Niyonshuti (Team MTN-Qhubeka) won the Rwanda National Road Championships for the third year in a row lasr Sunday. The 25 year old attacked on the finishing circuit to join the early break in the front. The three riders worked well together until Niyonshuti put in a final attack the others couldn’t follow and he soloed to victory.
At the finish he said, “I am happy to win again. It was a goal of mine this season to defend the jersey. It is an honour to be able to wear my national colours for another year.”
Niyonshuti will make history next year and become the first ever Rwandan professional in the European peloton as Team MTN-Qhubeka prepares to register as a UCI Pro Continental team.
“The Rwandan flag is so beautiful and to have Adrien race in Europe and around the world next year in the Rwandan national champions kit will be an extremely proud moment for him and his country,” commented MTN-Qhubeka Team Principal Douglas Ryder.
Niyonshuti who was a victim of the Rwandan genocide losing six brothers and various other family members overcame the odds to join Team MTN-Qhubeka in 2009. He has thus far mostly been focused on mountain biking and represented his country at the London Olympics but will turn his full attention to the road next year.
“I feel really good to be part of this team. Yes, I will be first Rwandan professional to race in Europe and this is really a dream come true. The big picture is to make the Tour de France line up in a few years time and things are falling into place,” Niyonshuti concluded.
Source: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, velonation.com