British carbon-bike manufacturer Dassi is supporting the first ever tour of the UK by Team Rwanda, the national cycling team of Rwanda. The U23 team, competing as Team Rwanda-Dassi, arrives on 7th July, and will take part in twelve elite road races and criteriums in four weeks,
The four-man team is made up for Tour of Rwanda winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Joseph Areruya, Jean Claude Uwizeye and Samuel Mugisha.
Team Rwanda-Dassi will compete at the Ryedale Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Wales, the Wales Open Criterium and the Chepstow Grand Prix as well as the London Dynamo Summer Road Race.
Tour partners include clothing supplier X-Bionic, component manufacturer 3T and vacuum bike-mount company SeaSucker. These join long-term Team Rwanda sponsors Campagnolo, Garneau, Vittoria, Jagwire, LOOK, Sidi, DeFeet, CLIF and Oakley.
Head coach Sterling Magnell said: “Our best young Rwandan talents possess world-class pedal power but they need more experience with cornering and close-quarters racing."
Team Rwanda was formed by survivors of the country’s genocide in 1994 as a way to begin the healing process. Many of the riders lost family members and, in most cases, are now the main income generators for large family groups.
"The team is now the leading sports team in Rwanda and gives hope and inspiration to millions of Rwandans still recovering from their past, both at home and around the world, that they can once again be proud of their nation and their heritage," said Jeremy Ford, Team Rwanda’s UK Ambassador.
Welcoming the team to the UK, the president of British Cycling Bob Howden said: “While it is always great to see international teams competing in British races, I am particularly thrilled to see a team from Africa on our roads. Team Rwanda-Dassi deserve great support – not only for the endeavours of their riders but also because of their mission to develop cycling in their own country."