RWANDA has for the first time been ranked the second best cycling nation on the continent by the International Cycling Union (UCI) behind powerhouse Eritrea, according to the latest ranking released by the world cycling governing the body.

The development follows Team Rwanda’s impressive performance at the just-concluded 13th edition of African Continental Road Championship staged in Kigali.

Team Rwanda (men and women), under the tutelage of Sterling Magnell and Nathan Byukusenge, scooped 10 medals; 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals to finish third on the medal table behind Eritrea (20 medals) and Ethiopia (13 medals).

This was the best performance ever for Rwanda in African championships which greatly contributed to their rise in UCI Africa rankings.

National ranking

  1. Eritrea 1702 points
  2. Rwanda 1059 points
  3. South Africa 1026 points
  4. Algeria 760 points
  5. Morocco 690.5 points

Individual ranking

  1. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) 437.75 points
  2. Amanuel Werkilul Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea) 267.75 points
  3. Azzedine Lagab (Algeria) 263 points
  4. Metkel Eyob (Eritrea) 261.5 points
  5. Debesay Mekseb (Eritrea) 242.5 points

In the latest ranking, Team Rwanda has leapfrogged South Africa, with 1026 points, into the second spot with a total of 1059 points with giants Eritrea maintaining the top spot with 1702 points.

Algeria are in fourth with 760 points while Morocco are sixth with 690.5 points with Ethiopia coming in the seventh spot with 321 points behind Tunisia which occupy the sixth place with 448 points.

Meanwhile, in the individual rankings, Rwanda’s cycling sensation Joseph Areruya who rides for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka continental team, has retained the top spot with a total of 437.75 points.

The 21-year-old is followed by Eritrea’s Amanuel Werkilul Ghebreigzabhier, who won the continental championships with 267.5 points improving from 137th position previously, while Algerian Azzedine Lagab is third with 263 points.

Four-time Tour du Rwanda stage winner Metkel Eyob currently ranks third after winning a silver medal in last week’s continental championships road race with 261.5 points while his compatriot Mekseb Debesay completes the top five with 242.5 points.

Source: The New Times