No fewer than 250 participants have entered for the 2nd ECOWAS International Cycling Tour scheduled to flag off on February 15.
The tour to take place between from Feb. 15th and 19th 2012 will witness the cyclists traverse five countries in the sub region. They are Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and in Cote d’Ivoire.
The race which will cover a total distance of 450 kilometres will be flagged off from the National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria on February 15 and terminate in Abidjan (Cote d‘Ivoire) on February 19th.
The ECOWAS international cycling tour will go over four stages – Lagos-Cotonou, Cotonou-Lome, Ada-Accra and Abuaso-Abidjan. There will also be three motorised transfers.
Each of the 16-member nations is to field a team of six cyclists and five accompanying officials.
There will be prizes and trophies for winners at the various stages of the race as well as the overall tour winner and team standing. There will also be prizes for sprints and the best young cyclist.
The Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, Mr Francis Njoguani, explained that the staging of the second edition followed on the heels of the maiden competition which held in 2009. It covered Lagos to Accra.
He explained that the race was initiated by ECOWAS Heads of State to further the ECOWAS ideals of regional integration and the free movement of persons as a tool to actualise the ECOWAS vision 2020 of transforming from an ‘ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of people’.