Tour of Rwanda social media footage offers glimpse into passionate cycling support ahead of 2025 Worlds

The UCI announced in September 2021 that Kigali, Rwanda, will host the 2025 UCI Road World Championships

Tour of Rwanda riders tackle the Wall of Kigali
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Social media footage from the sixth stage of the Tour of Rwanda has offered a glimpse into just how entertaining the 2025 UCI Road World Championships could be, with the UCI announcing in September 2021 that Rwanda's capital city, Kigali, will host the event. 

Sports journalist Sammy Imanishimwe shared scenes of Nyabugogo - a Kigali neighbourhood - on Twitter, highlighting the thousands of spectators lining the streets and hanging over balconies just to catch a sight of the Tour of Rwanda riders in the final few kilometres of the race.

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Anatoliy Budyak of Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team won the sixth stage of the race, from where Imanishimwe's video was taken. Budyak became the first Ukrainian to win a Tour of Rwanda stage, but Natnael Tesfazion of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli currently leads the GC, six seconds ahead of Budyak.

A Great Britain team comprised of Leo Hayter, Robert Donaldson, Jack Brough, Oscar Nilsson-Julien and William Tidball are currently competing in the race this year, with Hayter managing three top-ten finishes so far. Israel-Premier Tech have also sent a team to Rwanda, as have Team TotalEnergies, among others.

Until 2008, the Tour of Rwanda was a regional cycling race for neighbouring countries, but in the last 14 years the Rwandan cycling federation (FERWACY) has worked to build the event internationally. 

The African nation's race has gained positive exposure due to the large crowds that frequently gather in the country to watch the stage-race, with iconic images captured from the race's cobbled 'Wall of Kigali'.

Rwanda made its bid to host the 2025 Worlds in 2019, with the UCI eventually awarding the African nation the event over Tangier, Morocco in 2021.

Announcing Rwanda’s capital as host for the 2025 Road World Championships, the UCI described it as a ‘decisive step’ in the organisation of the event.

“I welcome the attribution of the 2025 UCI Road World Championships to Kigali in Rwanda,” said UCI president David Lappartient.

“Staging our biggest annual event in Africa was one of our dreams. Today, this is nearer to becoming a reality. I sincerely thank Tangier and Morocco for their bid of very high quality. The UCI encourages the country to submit new bids for future events. Given its love of cycling and its commitment for the development of our sport, it deserves to welcome major UCI events.”

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.