19 - The Rwandan Cycling Team

It’s 1994 and Rwanda, a land locked country on the Eastern side of Africa, just on the Equator, was in the midst of one of the worst genocides in history. 

In 100 days more than 1 million Tutsis were slaughtered, representing about 70% of their population. 

At that time a bicycle = life.  If you had a bicycle you might escape the slaughter.  If you had a bicycle you could try to make your way to safety, too afraid to look back at the staggering and stomach churning displays of man’s inhumanity to man.

A documentary called Rising from the Ashes details how some of those survivors were given a reason to hope by cycling legend Jock Boyer (the first American to enter the Tour de France and  a member of the United States Cycling Hall of Fame) as he helped a fledgling Rwandan cycling team not only get off the ground, but also, amazingly, managing to attend the London Olympics in 2012.  The riders of Team Rwanda gave their countrymen a vision of something greater than themselves and their history; hope for the future.

Scroll forwards to 2017 and the Rwandan Cycling Team will be racing at this year’s inaugural Colorado Classic pro cycling race

Join me as I talk to Jock Boyer about the movie, the team and the race.

 Listen on Google

Listen on Google

 Listen on iTunes

Listen on iTunes

 Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Stitcher

 Jock Boyer and Adrian Niyonshuti 

Jock Boyer and Adrian Niyonshuti 

 Team Rwanda's Colorado Classic Jersey - Note Rhinos

Team Rwanda's Colorado Classic Jersey - Note Rhinos

 The Tour de Rwanda - © Mrjka Boensch Bees

The Tour de Rwanda - ©Mrjka Boensch Bees

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