TOUR D’EAC 2019 GETS GRAND SEND OFF FROM KAMPALA
(Posted 03rd August 2019)
(All pictures courtesy of John Balongo)
The long awaited regional East African cycling tour was flagged off on the 01st of August by Uganda’s second Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja in the presence of the Tanzanian High Commissioner and the Ambassador of Burundi.
The riders left from the Independence Monument in the heart of Kampala, where, all going well, they are expected to return to cross the finishing line in 50 days.
Before the start were the riders given information by representatives of the Uganda Police, which then accompanied them enroute the first leg to Iganga in Eastern Uganda. Police escorts in fact ensured the safety of the riders throughout the day.
After a night stop in Iganga on the 01st of August did the tour then leave yesterday morning to the border town of Malaba, where they were camping for the night before crossing into the second country of this year’s edition, Kenya. Enroute did a few flat tyres cause involuntary rest stops but the problems were fixed fast enough to stay within the time limit set for the stage.
Wrote John Balongo, the main organizer behind the event, to ATCNews in a WhatsApp message:
‘We were flagged off by DPC Iganga police station at exactly 0900hours headed for Malaba. At 25 kmph we were able to get to Malaba in 5hours. We had a few pictures and mechanical issues. At the Border, we were received by The EAC representative Uganda and the Malaba Border supervisor who took us through the process at the Borda. Had lunch and then set camp with the Border Uganda side‘. He also used the opportunity to thank the Uganda police force when he added: ‘Thanks to Uganda police for the big work. I must tell you this, from the start, we had police patrol paving way for the riders, controlling the traffic, the most exciting is when police handing over to another jurisdiction‘.
The Tour D’EAC is today entering Kenya where the riders have to conquer major elevation changes across the 7 stages, before reaching Longido and the border with Tanzania.
Stage 3 – August 3 -Malaba to Eldoret. Total Distance: 128 km
Stage 4 – August 4 – Eldoret to Awasi. Total Distance: 96 Km
Stage 5 – August 5 – Awasi to Nakuru. Total Distance: 138 km
Stage 6 – August 6 – Nakuru to Limuru, Total Distance: 121 km
Stage 7 – August 7 Limuru to Nairobi. Total Distance: 32.6 km.
In Nairobi the tour will rest for 2 days
Stage 8 – August 10 – Nairobi to Kajiado. Total Distance: 75.7 km
Stage 9 – August 11 – Kajiado to Longido.
All the best to the tour participants and congratulations to John Balongo who has once again overcome the odds and organized this edition of what has become a sporting event uniting the East Africa Community countries with the aim to further promote regional integration.