MATCHS DU JOUR 24
Three days in the northern region, ten laps instead of eight, more bonuses for the riders and thousands of gifts for the public: the next Tour du Cameroon (May 31 to June 11, 2023) will have a special flavor. Review of the novelties.
The best African cyclists will be on the roads of Cameroon on May 31. For this 19th edition of the Tour du Cameroon, 1200 kilometers long, ten teams are expected on the starting line. Notably African national teams and some semi-professional teams from Europe. On the program, twelve days of grueling competition, with a lot of novelties.
The caravan to move up North
The course of the 2023 edition will start from Figuil to Garoua (96 km) in the North region. A stage that constitutes the major innovation of the race this year. Indeed, it has been more than ten years since the caravan of the Tour of Cameroon has not passed in this part of the country, because of threats from the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram that sowed terror in this part of Cameroon.
"For the safety of the participants, the national and international authorities (UCI) suggested that the race does not pass through this region. The other reason was related to the pandemic of coronavirus that did not allow a return to the far north, "says Jean-Baptiste Biaye, the head of communication of the Cameroon Cycling Federation. Thus, the spotlight will be on the northern region of Cameroon for three days.
First, on May 30, with the presentation ceremony of the teams at the place of celebration of Roumde Adjia. Then, the next day, with the first stage. And finally, on June 1 with the second stage, a closed criterium of 124 km inside the city of Garoua. Security arrangements are being made for a good return of the race in the region. "The competition is placed under the high patronage of the President of the Republic, security measures are taken at a very high level of the State," reassures Jean-Baptiste Biaye.
We go from eight to ten laps
The other major innovation of this Tour of Cameroon 2023 concerns the number of stages. Thus, we went from eight stages as has been the case for the past ten years, to ten stages. "Ten stages is reasonable, given the budgetary issues. We must take into account the number of days to spend on the bike and in the different cities of Cameroon. It is also necessary to integrate the transport, accommodation and care of the various delegations present in the caravan, "we learn.
This year, the race will pass through six regions of Cameroon and not only three or four. These are the North, the Littoral, the West, the Southwest, the South and the Center. To this end, the Cameroon Cycling Federation announces, still as an innovation, a stage between Loum in the Littoral and Dschang in the West (112 km). This is the seventh stage of the Tour," said Jean-Bastiste Biaye. The technicians present it as the queen stage of this edition; because there will be the boarding of the cliff of Dschang. It is the most difficult mountain stage of the race".
More bonuses for the cyclists
As every year, the advertising caravan, which opens the road for the riders, will try to impress the thousands of supporters expected along the roads of the department that the peloton will take. The companies and their brands should be even more present on the course. The objective of each company is to make a greater impression. Thus, in addition to the innovations expected in the race, the sponsors announce more bonuses for the competitors. Thousands of gifts will also be distributed to the public at the various stage arrivals. The Tour will end on June 11.