The Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) has announced a partnership with Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) and Golazo for the pair of companies to jointly organize the 2025 UCI Road World Championships.

The competition, to be held from September 21 to 28 in Rwanda, will be the first edition of the Road World Championship ever to be held in Africa, after Rwanda was announced as the host in 2021, having first bid in 2018.

French company ASO is the organizer of road cycling’s iconic Tour de France among several other UCI events globally, and other major sporting events such as the Dakar rally.

Golazo, meanwhile, is a Belgian company that also has experience organizing UCI events, namely the UCI World Tour’s Benelux tour, as well as sporting events in Africa such as the Nairobi City Marathon in Kenya.

Golazo, which also co-organized the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, Belgium, announced it would be opening an office in the Rwandan capital of Kigali to support its organization of the event and strengthen its presence in Africa, having already set up an office in Nairobi.

Chief executive Bob Verbeeck stated of the deal: “We have been active in East Africa for more than 10 years. In recent years, our operations in Kenya have gained momentum. This is another big step in developing our foothold in Africa.”

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Yann Le Moenner, ASO chief executive, added: “It is a big step for cycling to organize the first-ever world championships on the African continent.

“Kigali is the right place to host such a breakthrough event as the people have a true passion for cycling here, and the hilly city could offer one of the most challenging grounds for a cycling race. We are excited to be able to bring our expertise to such a promising event”.

The competition is the most prominent sporting event hosted in the country yet, with the Rwandan government prioritizing global sports events hosting and partnerships as part of its strategy.

In July and August of 2023, Rwanda hosted women’s basketball’s biennial AfroBasket Women competition, having in recent years also hosted the 2021 AfroBasket, World Cup African qualifiers, and the final round of the last three seasons of the Basketball Africa League, the pan-continental professional league.

The country’s tourist board, Visit Rwanda, is a sponsor of several major European soccer clubs, including English side Arsenal, French giants Paris Saint-Germain, and German giants Bayern Munich most recently.

In recent years, Rwanda has come under increasing scrutiny for alleged human rights abuses perpetrated by the country’s government.