This weekend will see the start of the Tour of Rwanda. It’s 25 years since the first running of the event which grows from strength to strength.
Despite the atrocities the country suffered in the Civil War in 1994, the race re-emerged afterwards as a uniting force for the divided country. International teams started travelling to take part in the hilly race, and in the past few years, the country has produced its first top-classs rider, Adrien Niyonshuti.
For anybody who wants to understand cycling culture in Rwanda, then Land of Second Chances – The Impossible Rise of Rwanda’s Cycling Team by Tim Lewis is a must-read.
The book not only tells the story of the country’s troubled background, but also how a number of people including Sean Kelly’s former team mate, Jonathan Boyer has helped the sport to grow. Lewis doesn’t shy away from Boyer’s dark past in his book. He describes the difficulties in trying to help local riders become top level cyclists, and also the importance of the bike in the country, not only for racing cyclists, but also for those working the fields.
Land of Second Chances won The Times Sports Book of the Year 2014.