The winter break is almost over for the Ultra distance Dotwatching community as the first race of the season is almost upon us. There are plenty of new races popping up on the 2020 bikepacking and the first of them is the Race Around Rwanda. The Race Around Rwanda is a 1000km self supported race around the land of a thousand hills. Rwanda’s nickname hints as to what is to come for the rider's participation in the inaugural race, as the name suggests Rwanda is not a flat country!
Nestled in Eastern Africa Rwanda covers 26000 square kilometers of predominantly lush rolling hills, with a few high mountains and volcanoes thrown in for good measure. The Race Around Rwanda route features 250km of gravels roads and tracks with the remainder being tarmac. It loops around the country touching the borders of all 4 neighboring countries and covering 16000m of elevation. The fastest riders will be expected to finish the race in about 2 days with a time limit of 6 days for those further down the pack.
This is the first bikepacking race in Eastern Africa and this has attracted the more adventurous riders of the bikepacking community. Ultan Coyle, former Uk24h time trial champion, Jason Black, winner of Bikingman Laos and Josh Ibbett, former Transcontinental race winner are all entered setting up an interesting race for the win. The rest of the pack is littered with well-experienced riders eager to discover a new country and find some early season sunshine. Eleonora Balbi, Fabian Burri, Gavin Scott and Neil Copeland are names to keep an eye on having a vast wealth of bikepacking experience between them.
The Race Around Rwanda begins on Sunday February 2nd, full race tracking can be found on the event website here.