The bicycle is both a remarkable invention for gathering people and for seclusion, which is why cycling is a source of perpetual enrichment. It is about challenge, perseverance, achievement and unity. Team Africa Rising is a prime example of this. In 2025, Rwanda will become the first African country to host the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
Team Africa Rising, first known as Team Rwanda Cycling, was created in 2007 in a country in the midst of human reconstruction. Everything had to be rebuilt, starting with giving people hope. The professional cyclists supported by the organisation were given the mandate to compete on the international scene. And the goal was achieved!
From Team Rwanda to Team Africa Rising
In 2015, to enable expansion into other African countries, Team Rwanda Cycling officially became Team Africa Rising (TAR). The focus is on recruiting, training and competing with the next generation of coaches, mechanics and nutritionists to build a first class cycling programme.
But this doesn't happen overnight. It takes funding, it takes people who believe and who support it. Through tireless effort, the Africa Rising cycling centre in Musanze has been built, including a state-of-the-art mechanical workshop, training rooms, a clean water system and accommodation for up to 30 athletes.
Customised by Louis Garneau
Louis Garneau Sports has always been a strong believer in this project and has been involved since 2010, providing customised equipment to maximise performance and put TAR on the same international level as anyone else.
In 2015, Louis Garneau raised $80,000 with his Hope series of paintings, benefiting the Rwandan national cycling team. The money collected was used to organise more training camps in Rwanda and enabled junior athletes, Rwandan women, Ethiopians and Eritreans to participate. These funds have also helped to preserve the mission of Team Africa Rising.
"A team that starts from almost nothing, but is driven by a strong determination and a desire to give hope through sport, is right up Louis Garneau's alley. We couldn't pass up such a significant partnership for international cycling" - Louis Garneau.
The value of each and every detail
Along with comfort and technology comes the pride of being part of a team that is not only unified internally but also visually recognisable. Team Africa Rising is aware of the value of every detail and knows how to take advantage of the unity that this great sport brings.
"We are very honoured to be wearing LG designed and manufactured jerseys, we have received many messages from different people who have liked the kits. What is great is the quality that brings comfort to our riders." - Jean Hubert, General Manager of the Adrien Niyonshuti Cycling Academy.
It takes human beings
Reaching high levels in sport, as we all know, requires a lot of will, perseverance, strength and determination. But it takes even more. It requires the human beings behind the innovative ideas, behind the concrete actions and behind the support.
"The relationship that Team Rwanda Cycling and Team Africa Rising have had over the past 15 years with Louis Garneau has been more than just high quality jerseys and shorts. Louis has given pride and professionalism to Team Rwanda from the very beginning. For the first time in their lives, the riders wore new professional jerseys and shorts. They recognised the big difference with what they had worn in the past. Louis always urged us to be more professional and to do better. We are very grateful to Louis for being part of our team for so long. - Jock Boyer, founder of Team Africa Rising ( www.teamafricarising.org )
Unity through sport
Indeed, in 2025, Rwanda will become the first African country to host the UCI Road World Cycling Championships. Such a remarkable accomplishment is not insignificant! It is the result of the sustained efforts of several athletes, of a number of visionaries, of human beings bonded by a common passion.
But Team Africa Rising is not just one competition, one event, one athlete. It represents a constant evolution. The people at the core of TAR, in the reality of their daily lives, are striving to build the first pan-African professional women's cycling team. Until this team is formed, they are campaigning for equal opportunities for women and access to the same opportunities as men. In addition, TAR supports women selected for European or American teams with financial allowances, travelling and access to sponsored equipment.
Nelson Mandela once said: "It seems impossible until it is done". Team Africa Rising is founded on hope, passion and perseverance.