November 15, 2009

1st ECOWAS Cycling Tour flags-off Nov 19 in Lagos

The 1st ECOWAS Cycling Tour has been scheduled to flag off on Thursday, November 19 in Lagos. The tour that will see 72 cyclists from 13 countries in the West African sub-region battle for honours, is expected to move through Benin Republic, Togo and terminates in Accra, Ghana.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Nigerian end of the Tour, Mr. Henry Ezike, said at the weekend that the need to have a cycling competition between countries in ECOWAS was long overdue.

“This competition aimed at further popularising the sport and integrating member countries in the sub-region has become long overdue.  We were quite happy when the ECOWAS secretariat accepted to help in the sponsorship of the event,” observed Mr. Ezike who is the 1st vice president of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN).

Already, sub-committees have been formed to help in the organisation of the three-day tour expected to terminate on Saturday in Accra. The Tour will flag off on Thursday at the National Stadium in Lagos with all the 72 entries in attendance. It will move through the Alaka end of the Stadium en-route Mile 2 from where the competitors will head for the Nigeria-Benin Republic border at Seme.

The LOC chairman further revealed that the Benin cycling officials would take charge from there till the cyclists get to the Togo border. “From there, they will head to the Aflao border with Ghana for the Ghana cycling officials to take over the rest of the Tour,” revealed Mr. Ezike who has been the sole sponsor of the annual Henry and Henry National Cycling Championships for four years.

A breakdown of the total 7million CFA prize money at stake will see winners take home handsome cash in seven categories. They include, Individual Classification, General Classification Per Point, Best Young Rider, Intermediate Sprint, Best Attack Rider, Team Classification and other consolation prizes.