Cyclists Begin ECOWAS Tour From Lagos 13 Nov

About 90 cyclists from the 15-member nations of ECOWAS, would be participating in the 3rd ECOWAS International Cycling Tour slated to start in Lagos and terminate in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan from 13-17 November, 2013.
A statement signed by Francis Njoaguani, the Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre in Ouagadougou, said the race would go over four stages, covering 450 kilometres.
It named the four stages as Lagos-Cotonou; Ouidah-Lome; Accra-Cape Coast and Aboisso-Abidjan, with three motorised transfers in between.
According to the statement, the current event will witness an increase in the number of cyclists from 66 at the second edition in 2012 to the current number.
“The caravan will traverse five countries; Nigeria will be the starting point, then move to Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the finishing point.
“There will be cash award prizes and trophies for winners at various stages of the race as well as the overall tour winner in both individual and team standings.
“There will also be prizes for sprints and the best young cyclist in the tour”.
The statement noted that the race which would cover 450 kilometres would pass through good and challenging terrain, including bad roads, scorching heat and strong winds.
It added that as was the case in the second edition, it would be flagged off from the National Stadium in Lagos.
It was also gathered that provisions had been made for insurance cover for the cyclists by ECOWAS, the sole sponsors of the event.
ECOWAS, it was gathered was working with various countries through their sporting authorities in providing some of the logistics for a hitch-free event.
“Each of the 15-member nations will field a team of six cyclists to be accompanied by five officials”.
The race was initiated by ECOWAS to further promote the ideals of regional integration of free movement of persons across various borders.
It was also to fast-forward the actualisation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 of transforming ECOWAS from an “ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of people”.
Burkina Faso was the overall winners of the first and second editions of the competition, held in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Source: nan.

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