Gasore Hategeka has pinned on a number and lined up at the UCI Tour of Rwanda for every edition since 2009. The Rwandan national champion has started and finished all previous eight editions of the race and in 2017 overtakes Nathan Byukusenge as the rider with the most starts.
The 30-year-old is riding with the Club Benediction squad this year with previous starts via different national and Rwandan teams. During his eight starts at the race, the closest Hategeka has come to victory was in 2011 when he placed second in Gisenyi on a day won by Joey Rosskopf when the now BMC rider was with Team Type 1.
A two-time national champion, Hategeka has enjoyed more success at the Tour du Cameroun than his national tour, taking two career stage wins at the 2.2 race.
In July and August, Hategeka raced with the Rwandan national team at the 2.2 Cascade Cycling Classic and 2.HC Colorado Classic. Hategeka’s first experience with hors category racing was life-changing, and he starts the Tour of Rwanda with confidence after his first block of American racing.
“I feel good. My plan is to win a stage. I have been training well and my team is very strong here,” Hategeka told Cyclingnews on the morning of stage 1.
Hategeka, who carries the nickname Akanyamasyo (Turtle), is the senior rider on Club Benediction with 24-year-olds Eric Nduwayo and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, and 20-year-olds Jean Ruberwa and Alex Nizeyimana completing the squad. Of his teammates, Uwizeyimana is arguably the most experienced with a national title in 2016, a stage win of the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in 2014 on his palmarès and six previous Tour of Rwanda starts.
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