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Sweat, bike and log : the Kenyan Riders’ saga

On the Kenyan high plateaux, alongside the legendary marathonians are today training the Kenyan Riders. One of the rare totally professional cycling team out of Africa, this squadron displays frankly its ambition : completing in the Tour de France.
Why not also other endurance sports such as road cycling, Singaporean national Nicholas Leong thought. In 2006 he started building a professional cycling team consisting mostly of well-trained runners. The strategy is based on combining the athletic abilities and the extreme endurance of the Keynian runners and adapting that to the cycling technics.
To fulfill such a goal, a very demanding training shapes perfect climbers. The sportsmen have to perform daily training with huge water jery cans and log piles tied up to heavy traditional bikes called Black Mamba. To be part of the team, the applicants must pass a tough test: climbing 2.5 km in less than 8 minutes.
However, promoting cycling is difficult in a country traditionally relating to running. Because of this lack of recognition, financing and sponsoring remain rare. The gears are basic, and barbells are made with concrete blocs. Finally, attracting some new talents appears to be problematic in Africa where cycling still seems marginal. Nevertheless the success comes by small steps, and gives hope for an upcoming accomplishment.

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