Each year, thousands of fans line the streets to watch each stage of the Tour of Rwanda, crowds only a popular climb at the Tour de France might be able to boast about.
First running as a largely amateur race in 2008, the race grows in competitive depth year on year, and in 2019 attracted WorldTour team Astana and a number of strong conti and pro conti teams. The depth too of homegrown competitive cyclists is on the rise as a result of a push to grow the sport in the country, culminating in the Tour of Rwanda.
Hosting the road worlds was the logical next step for Rwanda to continue growing the sport and the idea of hosting the event was first revealed by FERWACY (Cycling Rwanda) president Aimable Bayingana in an interview with Rwandan newspaper The New Times. Bayingana and John Ntigengwa, the Rwandan Governmen's Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Culture officially submitted the bid at the UCI Headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland on Wednesday September 12.
"With its proven experience of organising the Tour of Rwanda for 11 years," an official statement on FERWACY's Twitter account said "Rwanda now wants to write a page of history of the cycling by becoming the first African country organising the World Championships."
"Such an event in the streets of Kigali the capital city, would spark a considerable popular enthusiasm beyond the borders of Rwanda, a country that has become by courage and conviction an example of success in all areas.
"The sport is the best proof and the organisation of these World Championships in 2025 would be a great message of hope for all the African continent but also for the big family of cycling, which has been focused for years on the internationalisation of its sport."
We are so there!
SBS will stream selected events from the 2019 UCI Road World Championships from 22-29 September on SBS On Demand and our website with live TV coverage of the women's and men's road races scheduled for SBS Viceland.