Kenyans are globally renowned for their dominance in long-distance marathons but did you know that a group of young Kenyans are working towards getting a spot in the pro-cycling arena? Meet the Kenyan Riders, the first professional cycling team based in Kenya and founded by Singaporean Nicholas Leong in 2006. There are certainly grand plans in the radar as the team set their sights on 2019 Tour de France.

In 2009, Nicholas joined forces with Matthieu and Marie-Anne Vermersch and together, they incorporated the Kenyan Riders Pte Ltd, in Singapore. The team has grown from strength to strength ever since. There are currently 26 members in the entire team that include trainers, support staff and professional riders in training.

To date, some of the notable achievements by the Kenyan Riders include 2nd overall team classification at the La Haute Route 2012, dubbed as one of the highest and toughest cyclosportives in the world. The team also finished 4th place overall at their home tour, the Tour of Rwanda last year with one of their riders, John Njoroge, who  finished 3rd place overall.

Above: The Kenyan Riders share a funny moment with the Rodalink staff

The Kenyan Riders Team and staff were in Singapore over the weekend of 8th-9th June where they were presented with their latest Polygon road bikes and brand new cycling apparel by their respective sponsors, Rodalink and Quickspeed at the Rodalink Jurong East Store at TradeHub 21.
Above: Kevin from Rodalink presents a brand new Polygon road bike to Simon Blake (in red), the cycling coach of the Kenyan Riders team
Above: Matthieu and Marie-Anne Vermersch receiving the new cycling jersey for the team from Raymond of Quickspeed
As shared by Nicholas, founder of the Kenyan Riders Team, going to Australia where the racing and cycling culture is entrenched will serve as great exposure for the riders. With their sights set on fielding an all-Kenyan professional cycling team to participate in the Tour de France by 2019, Nicholas mentioned that the process and development of the riders will be important and exciting journey for everyone. Having a systematic training approach in place will provide opportunities for aspiring Kenyan riders to go full-on with cycling and racing.
A bunch of local cyclists also had the chance to ride with the Kenyan Riders (see above photo) on the morning of 9th June (Sunday) and despite the rain, their spirits were certainly not dampened!
Best wishes to the team as they work towards their 2019  Tour de France dream!