Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cycling Race Traverse Conflict-Stricken Burkina Faso

The Tour do Faso, a 10-day cycling race through the conflict-torn West African country of Burkina Faso, began on 29 October in the southern city of Banfora. A Burkinabe rider is expected to win safely regardless of his Summer Olympic performance and safety. concerns.

Paul Dumont is one of eighty cyclists participating in this year’s Tour do Faso, Burkina Faso’s answer to the world-famous Tour de France cycle race.

Since October 29, cyclists have driven their way across the country, with a new stage each day.

Dumont is back from the Olympics in Tokyo and hopes to improve his performance in his home country.

He says cycling was difficult, but at just 22 years old, it has taken him all over the world, from Japan to Switzerland.

“You could say that cycling, whether in Burkina Faso or in the rest of the world, is a sport that is difficult to enter, because you need a machine and machines are relatively expensive. You already have one. Must be lucky enough to have a bike—or someone who can lend you a hand to get started,” Dumont said.

He says the cycling federation in Burkina Faso helped him road racing bikes after he showed ability, but to get to that level you need a good bike in the first place.

Despite difficulties in access, the sport of cycling is becoming more popular in Africa, and the annual Africa Tour of the Union Cycliste Internationale takes place in 11 countries, including Burkina Faso.

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Burkina Faso is in the middle of a six-year conflict involving terror groups linked to the Islamic State group, al-Qaeda and local bandits, and security has deteriorated in recent months.

Organizers and participants at this year’s event, however, were on the move, and there was a festive atmosphere.

When asked about the security, one of the organizers said that it is a matter of concern.

“Yes. Sure. This is one of the great difficulties for us, certainly when we have, for example, European countries. We are not always sure, but we have a large organization. We have an army with us; We have to have the police with us,” Bezault said.

Claimants in Europe say they are not worried about security.

“Oh, I don’t feel insecure at all. I think everyone is very friendly and yeah, like I said, I didn’t feel insecure at all. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Batten said.

Local riders say they are enjoying the cosmopolitan nature of the event, but their eyes are on the prize.

“I thank the foreigners who come, and I also thank the cyclists, the runners of Burkina Faso. God give us the yellow jersey,” Sorgho said.

Meanwhile, Dumont has already made it to the top 10 in the first two stages of the Tour do Faso, which will reach its finale on Sunday.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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