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"that was always my dream" - Charles Kagimu from Uganda to BIKE AID

Sunday, Dec 10, 2017 in Pro Cycling, 639 views

BIKE AID signs 19-year-old Charles Kagimu from Uganda, who is coming through “Kenyan Riders” program, from 2018 on.

He comes from a country that has not yet played any real role in cycling. Uganda - a country in East Africa that shares borders with Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has about 35 million inhabitants.In Uganda, as in many other African countries, the bike is an important mean of transport, but it is not widely used as a sports equipment. Nevertheless, there are a few cyclists in Uganda and the influence of the neighboring country Rwanda - in which cycling now plays a major role - is great.

That's how Charles, as a youngster, decided to go cycling. He watched the Tour du Rwanda  in 2015, as a 17-year-old and cheered a certain Mekseb Debesay, who won two stages – back then  in the jersey of BIKE AID."I saw and admired Mekseb and Team BIKE AID. It was a dream for me to wear this jersey one day myself and start for this team", says Charles today.A dream that is now coming true. Initially, Charles decided to take his chance and become part of the “Kenyan Riders” development program. So he set off for Iten to show what he can do. It didn’t take him long to convince Nicholas Leong from his talent. As part of the U23 team, Charles also came to Germany during 2017 summer and was able to show on various crit races that he not only "has a strong engine", but also knows how to use his bike.

"We tested Charles together with the other riders at STAPS in Cologne and some of Charles’ numbers were outstanding," said Timo Schäfer, one of the two team co-ordinators. "The attitude and training diligence that Charles has shown here were exemplary and so we have already decided in mid-September to give him a contract in the Pro-team," Schäfer continues.

At the recent Tour of Quanzhou Bay, Kagimu was already a Stagaire for BIKE AID and more than convincing he finished 10th in the overall at his first ever UCI race: "We were surprised how Charles has already acted. We knew that he would be strong uphill, but we were quite positively surprised that he was already in such a good position", said Schäfer

In 2018, Kagimu will be developed with regular high quality races and build up his strengths as a climber.