May 5, 2008, 7:08 AM
The Gambian delegation, headed by Abdoul Aziz Titao Mendy, Development Officer, National Sports Council (NSC), is comprised of technical officer Edrisa Sah, cycling representative head coach Modou Lamarana Bah and cyclists Buba Jobe, Cherno Joof, Sulayman Colley and Amadou Bah.
According to Francis Njoaguani, Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC) based in Ouagadougou, the five-day race over four stages and 450 kilometers will start from Nigeria’s National Stadium in Lagos, and terminate in the Ivorian commercial capital of Abidjan on 17 November.
The four stages are Lagos-Cotonou; Ouidah-Lome; Accra-Cape Coast, and Aboisso-Abidjan, with three motorized transfers in between.
“The caravan will traverse five countries - Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire,” the director said, adding that there will be cash prizes and trophies for winners at various stages and for the overall tour winner in both individual and team categories.
There will also be prizes for sprints and the best young cyclist of the tour, with provisions made for insurance cover for the cyclists by ECOWAS, the sole sponsors of the event.
It is said the international cycling tour was initiated by the ECOWAS heads of state to further the ECOWAS ideals of regional integration and free movement of persons as a tool to actualize the ECOWAS vision 2020 of transforming from an ‘ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of people’.