Renus Uhiriwe, 20, is currently preparing to compete in the upcoming Tour of Rwanda for the national team before traveling to Europe and joining his UCI Continental Team Qhubeka (www.TeamQhubeka.com) squad based in Italy.
Ride a path familiar to talented young cyclists from Africa as they first look to make their mark at home and then take the next step with their sights firmly set on one day performing at the highest level.
In the midst of his preparations for the race, Renus took the time to tell us a bit more about himself and his hopes for the future.
Q: Tell us where you are from and a little about your family.
I am from Rwanda, which I am incredibly proud of, and at home are my mother, sister and brother, while I am the youngest child.
Q: How did you become a cyclist?
My father used to ride a bike, so I bought his when he was still young and I really liked it; after which he bought me a small bicycle. My house is near the Africa Rising Cycling Center and I saw the cyclists pass by my house, going to the center to train.
I really enjoyed riding the bike and was finally able to train with the national team, and it all went from there. In my first race I won the Rwanda Championship, that confirmed to me that it was my talent; I started racing my bike more regularly and decided it was my dream. The bicycle has literally changed my life.
Q: Who is your cycling hero?
I have many cycling heroes. Being a sprinter, I like Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish, but I also have other heroes in Tadej Pogacar and also Egan Bernal. I am also a big fan of Giacomo Nizzolo who used to ride for our team and always showed tremendous fight. As a sprinter, I want to do well here in Africa but also, more importantly, in Europe.
Q: What is your cycling goal?
My ultimate goal is to win races in Europe and then move on to the World Tour. But first is to win races in Africa: it would be a great moment for Rwanda and also a big step in my cycling career. He could, potentially, be the first Rwandan to win a stage at the Tour du Rwanda since it was classified as a UCI 2.1 event.
Q: How proud are you to represent Rwanda on the world stage?
I am extremely proud to represent my country, it means everything to me, and I have set myself the goal of winning a stage in the Tour du Rwanda, which would be amazing for our country.
Q: The 2025 UCI World Championships is in Rwanda, will you be there?
I really hope to be at the World Championships in 2025. That is my goal and my goal. It would be amazing to race on my home roads in front of our amazing and proud representative from Rwanda. This will be an incredible moment for our continent and for cycling.
Q: What is your message to young Rwandan cyclists and other cyclists in Africa who want to emulate you by traveling to Europe to race your bike?
Young riders need to work hard and love what they do. For young African cyclists to have the opportunity to compete in Europe is extremely important, so my message is that they must focus and love bicycle racing.