By Basil K. Mbuye
The 12th edition of the Cycling Tour of Cameroon which was initially scheduled to commence in Maroua, finally kicks-off on March 9, 2014 in Ebolowa.
The race was initially programmed to take part in eight of the ten regions of Cameroon, but following an injunction from the International Cycling Union, ICU, the race caravan will no longer go to the three northern regions due to fears over insecurity.
The race will see the cyclist cover a total distance of 1073.5 kilometres and will take place in five of the ten regions of Cameroon, namely; Centre, South, Littoral, South West and West.
As to how the race will be run, the first of the eight-lap-race will be run between Ebolowa and Yaounde. The second lap will take place the next day between Pouma and Kribi.
March 11 will be a day of rest in Kribi. Meanwhile, on March 12, the third lap between Kribi and Douala will take place.The fourth lap will be run from Douala to Buea passing through Limbe.
The fifth lap will take place between Mbanga and Bafang. Melong-Dschang-Bafoussam will constitute the 6th lap of the race and there will be a second day of rest in Bafoussam on March16. The 7th and 8th laps comprise Bangangte-Bafia and Bafia-Yaounde.
In the meantime, six clubs from five European countries have already confirmed their participation in the race: Selection d’Auvergne of France, Global Cycling of the Netherlands, CK Banska Bystrica of Slovakia, Bike Aid of Germany, Meubles Descartes Loup Sport of Switzerland and Club de la Defense of France.
In Africa, the national teams of Burkina Faso, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Congo Brazzaville and Senegal. The host country, Cameroon will be represented by three teams; Selection du Centre, SNH Velo club and Selection Interregional.
Also, Cameroon’s chances of winning the tour were boosted with the news of the participation of Yves Ngue Ngock who was suspended by the International Cycling Union.
The race will be supervised by Belgian born Jean Pierre Coppenolle who was designated by ICU as president of the jury.