Tugende Gravel is a gravel race organised by RAR events which specializes in bike races in Rwanda. The race was originally organised as a segment race and will be part of the UCI Gravel World Series for the first time in 2024 as part of the general development of cycling within Rwanda as the country will be proudly organising the very first UCI Road World Championships in Africa in 2025 in Kigali.
The 121km course is challenging with start in the city center of Kigali at the BK Arena and the Amahoro National Stadium for a first 8km on paved roads before entering the first gravel section.
The beginning has up and down going roads, the middle section follows the Muyanza river before getting back into the final which is the hardest part of the course. The finish is located near the town of Base.
There are in total 4 gravel sectors and 5 paved sectors
- Km 8-23: 15km long gravel on undulating roads
- Km 35-57: 22km of gravel with first a downhill, followed by a long uphill
- Km 92-101: short 9km uphill gravel
- Km 105-113: last gravel section until 8km before the finish, mainly in downhill
With a total elevation of 3079m, this is one of the hardest races in the TREK UCI Gravel World Series. Starting at 1500m above sea level, the roads are quickly going up with the first 8.7km climb leaving the capital city at 3.8% average, followed by a 4km climb at 5% average. The first real challenging climb is coming after 40km with a 17km gravel climb gets the riders to an elevation of over 2000m and an average gradient of 3.4%, followed by a long descent on paved roads.
After 82km and leaving the Muyanza river, the road starts to climb again over 18km at 3.3% average to reach a peak of 2190m followed by a gravel descent before entering the final 6.4km paved climb at 9.2% average to reach the highest point on course at 2200m above sea level at the finish line.
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, is a captivating city that embodies the nation’s resilience and growth. Its immaculate streets wind through picturesque hills, offering breathtaking views. Kigali seamlessly blends modernity with tradition, evident in its architecture and culture.
For history enthusiasts, the Kigali Genocide Memorial provides a solemn reminder of Rwanda’s past, while the Inema Arts Center showcases the vibrant local art scene. Culinary delights await at restaurants offering traditional Rwandan dishes like brochettes and matoke, along with international options. Kimironko Market is a must-visit for foodies and craft enthusiasts.
Nature lovers can explore Akagera National Park for safaris and Volcanoes National Park for incredible encounters with mountain gorillas. Kigali’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its green initiatives, including bicycle lanes and electric buses.
Kigali is a city that invites exploration, whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or nature. It’s a testament to Rwanda’s progress, making it an inspiring and diverse destination in the heart of Africa. Come and discover the beauty and resilience of Kigali.
For more information on tourism options : http://www.kigalicity.gov.rw/1/city-guide/what-to-visit-in-kigali