At just 21 years old, the Rwandan has great ambitions and sees a big chance by joining BIKE AID. Especially Eric's father and cousin Adrian Niyonshuti, who was racing for Team Dimension Data at the time, are an inspiration to him and make him dream of competing at a Grand Tour one day.
Alongside Eritrean Dawit Yemane, Eric Muhoza is the second African in the 12-man squad for the 2023 season. At the highly contested Tour du Rwanda 2022, Eric showed his talent and only just missed the top 10 in the general classification. But the Rwandan also attracted attention at the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir in France, which many call the "Junior Tour de France".
"BIKE AID stands out for me especially because of its support of African cycling." Says Eric Muhoza. Riders such as Henok Mulubrhan and Mekseb Debesay have shown how to reach the top with BIKE AID. After just five months, the young Eritrean Henok made the leap into a UCI ProTeam and is now about to fulfil his dream of competing in the Giro d'Italia. But the careers of Suleiman Kangangi or Salim Kipkemboi also showed how African talents can be supported beyond cycling. Alongside great names such as Karl Platt, Marcel Kittel or Anne Terpstra, Salim became a SIGMA brand ambassador in 2021. They spread the Kenyan's extraordinary story around the globe, invited him to events and helped Salim build a life besides professional cycling.
In two years, the first Road World Championships on the African continent will take place. In Rwanda, Eric Muhoza's home country, the best in the world will race head-to-head for the rainbow jersey. Two years is not a long time. But for the 21-year-old, who is now riding in a European Continental team for the first time, these two years can be the decisive ones. Structured training, a demanding race calendar with high-profile races and a professional surrounding should now help Eric to get closer to his dream of becoming the best in the world. So who knows, maybe he will make history at his home World Championships in front of millions of spectators.
Pictures by Hubert