The race reserved for cyclists below 23yrs will bring together 17 teams from 15 countries.
The maiden edition of the continental cycling race christened, ‘Race of Hope’ or better still the Africa Cup of Nations will kick off today in Douala with 17 teams drawn from 15 countries taking part in the competition. According to the communication officer for the race, Cameroon was chosen to be the first country in Africa to host the competition due to its reputation in sports and cycling in particular and also due to its economic potentials.
The competition reserved for cyclist below the age of 23, is organised by Vivendi with technical support for the International Cycling Union and will begin with a 92km criterium around some of the major alleys of the economic capital. In prelude to the event, there was a meeting of the various team directors as well as the presentation of the cyclists at Canal Olympia.
This was followed by a musical concert presented by Tenor and Kiff No Beat. Tomorrow, the race caravan moves to Idenau from where they will take off for Douala after covering a distance of 147km. On the first of February, the race caravan moves to Yaounde where there will be another criterium, this time over a distance of 101.8km.
The fourth and last lap of the race takes place on February 3rd between Yaounde and Akono over a distance of 80.5km. The countries taking part in the race include, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, D.R. Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mali, Mauritius Island, South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon and paradoxically Vietnam the only non African team.
However contenders for the yellow of the race winner will come from countries like Morocco, Burkina Faso and Egypt who have an edge in cycling in Africa over the other countries.