The 17th edition of the competition was officially launched in Yaounde yesterday October 11, 2017
David Lacoste of Cantal Auvergne Velo Club, France, is the winner of the prologue of the 17th edition of the International Cycling Race that took place at the esplanade of the Yaounde Omnisports stadium yesterday October 11, 2017. The winner finished first in the in a race that was purely on direct elimination.
The ceremony was presided at by the Minister of Sport and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt. It was a closed race in the streets of Yaounde supervised by Belgian-born Jean Claude Copenolle from the International Cycling Union. It was an opportunity for Yaounde inhabitants who thronged the venue to have a taste of what this year’s edition of the Chantal Biya International Cycling Race will look like. Cameroonian cyclists equally had a good performance in the competition and attracted excitement from spectators. However, Kamzong Abossolo was the only Cameroonian to reach the final phase after the series of eliminations. The prologue was preceded by a ceremony to officially present the participating teams and the officials in charge of the organisation of the race.
Prior to kick off Minister Bidoung Mkpatt took time to shake hands with the cyclists and the officials as a way of encouraging them. Cameroon last won the competition in 2013. It is expected the Cameroonian cyclists will be out to make a comeback in the competition this time. A total of 57 athletes from ten teams from Africa and Europe are taking part in this year’s edition of the competition. The teams from Europe are Global Cycling (Holland), La Defence (France), Auvergne (France), Blue Cycling (Belgium) and Dukla Banka Bystrica (Slovakia). The teams from Africa are; Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon. Cameroon has two teams notably the SNH Velo Club and the National Cycling Team. The first lap of the race will take place along the Yaounde-Ayos road a distance of 125km.