The UCI and the African Cycling Association join forces to train African riders | The new times
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) announced on Tuesday a partnership agreement to develop African cycling talents as part of the preparations for the 2025 UCI Road World Championships to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Signed at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, on May 25, as part of Africa Day celebrations, the partnership between the two bodies aims to ensure good representation of African countries at the event. flagship of the UCI which is being held for the first time on the African continent. continent in 2025.
The momentum is expected to continue through to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and beyond.
The partnership is the result of recent discussions between UCI President David Lappartient, UCI Chief Executive Officer Amina Lanaya, UCI World Cycling Center (WCC) Acting Director Jacques Landry , ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chief Development Officer. of Sport in Africa, Yassine Yousfi.
At the end of the discussions, the parties agreed on a UCI cycling development strategy supporting African athletes so that they can be competitive by 2025, particularly in the Junior and Under age categories. 23 years.
The strategy begins this year with the identification of athletes from African countries to be selected for a training camp at the UCI WCC Satellite in Paarl, South Africa.
Selected athletes will then be able to train at the UCI WCC in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe where they will gain relevant racing experience over the next three years in preparation for the 2025 UCI Road World Championships in the Rwandan capital.
The agreement is, according to UCI President David Lappartient, part of a broader vision to strengthen the body’s development work on the continent.
“I indicated in my 2022 Agenda that I wanted to take the UCI Road World Championships to Africa for the first time. I am extremely excited to work alongside ANOCA to ensure that African athletes are forces to be reckoned with in Kigali three years from now,” said Lappartient.
“The continent is brimming with talent, and we will ensure that the world witnesses the 2025 UCI Road World Championships and beyond,” he added.
About thirty athletes (men and women) will be targeted by the physiological tests established by the UCI WCC, the results of international races and the recommendations of UCI certified coaches and the director of the UCI WCC satellite in Paarl, Jean-Pierre Van Zyl .
The UCI WCC, the education and training arm of the UCI, has already launched the careers of incredible African athletes, such as Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane and Biniam Girmay, and of course Chris Froome, who spent his first months in Europe at the UCI WCC after arriving from Kenya in 2007.
Several African UCI WCC apprentice athletes have also signed contracts with professional teams. This year, the WCC team, a UCI women’s continental team, has two African members: Ethiopian Selam Amha Gerefiel and South African Maude Le Roux.