Nigeria’s team to the Giro Delle Marche In Rosa Cycling Tour in Italy is expected to depart the country early next week for the Invitational Championship, President of the federation, Engr. Giandomenico Massari has said.
The Invitational event, he said, is part of efforts by Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) to expose and prepare the elite girls for upcoming international championships, including the All Africa Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
Already the team of 5 cyclists and two coaches Engr. Massari said, have secured all necessary traveling documents, equipment and kits in readiness for the 3-day tour of the Italian hilly countryside.
The tour which features participants from over 20 nations, has three national teams in attendance; Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Russia. In all 25 different teams will in the tour. Giro Delle Marche In Rosa (Female Marche Tour ), one of Europe’s and World classification tours for elite female cyclists, is in three stages, spanning 150km each. Its unique attribute is the challenging hilly course of the Marche region.
To adequately prepare for the tour, the team had been in a closed camp in the hills of Jos plateau where the girls had a foretaste of what the rugged Italian hilly terrain would offer under the watchful eyes of Coaches Emmanuel Onasanya and Joy Wachukwu..
Speaking their chances team captain, Tombrapa Gladys Grikpa was upbeat about the tour, which she described as a career -changing opportunity.
“We have idea of what the terrain is like, that is why we camped in Jos. We have done a lot of climbs and all that. By the grace of God we will do well in both the classification and tour,” she promised.
Other members of the team include Durogbade Adejoke, Ukpeseraye Ese Lovina, Odiase Glory and Rosemary Marcus.
The team is scheduled to leave for Italy on September 9 for a brief acclimatization for the tour that slated for 12-16.