Nathan Byukusenge (Rwanda)
1- What do Rio Olympics mean for you?
It is very important to me. I am very happy to be going because I am not a young man and this was a very good thing to happen to me near the end of my racing career. It is very important for me to represent Rwanda and show the world what Rwanda really is… a cycling country.
2- What are your goals and expectations for Rio Olympic Games? And what are your national team expectations and goals for this race/s (events)?
Nathan – I want to have a top 10 finish
Team Rwanda – We just want him to finish the race and not get pulled. Same goal as we had for Adrien back in 2012. If he finishes the race that will be success.
3- In your opinion, where are the most decisive moments of the race? Which segments have you marked may have a bigger impact on the race tactics?
I have worked very hard on the technical sections and have improved a lot in that area. I think the technical sections are where I can do best and make up time.
4- From the start of the Olympic Qualification period until the time you were officially selected for Rio Olympics, which has been the hardest moment/ the biggest difficulty you had to deal with?
Getting funding for my training. I will be starting low on the start grid because I don’t have very many points because I haven’t been able to race internationally most of the time to gain these points. I did the Cape Epic and racing in South Africa and the Continental Championships in Lesotho in March/April and then another month in May in Europe but that has been it. Thanks to some generous donors in the US and some sponsors I was able to do these races and get a new SCOTT race bike.
5- Who are your main favourites for the medals?
Nino Schurter…I hope he wins gold.
Ruben Scheire (Belgium)
Rio Olympics means a lot to me. I think it is the highest thing you can reach in sports. We were 7 Belgian riders with chances to go to Rio. It is nice to know that I’m the one within the seven. I really did my best to reach the selection, so now I want to enjoy the Olympic Games and do a good race.
My goal is to ride a good race, without problems. A result in the top 20 is possible.
Belgian Team began the Olympic Games very well with the win of Greg Van Avermaet in the road race. His win gives a good feeling to everyone in the team. We have athlete in a lot of sports. We are a small but strong team.
A few weeks ago, I raced in the London 2012 Olympic circuit. It was a very nice track. It was beautiful for me, but also for the visitors. I have just seen Rio’s track on computerscreen. So, I don’t know how it feels, but it has been built by the same person as in London. So the difference between London and Rio should not be very big, I think it will be a spectaculai, nice track.
The Olympic Qualification went very good. I’m having good performances and I started the season being the first Belgian rider on every World Cup event and in the European Championships. Even on the European Championships I finished 16th. So everything went well, but it was hard to find a relax moment. Everybody had questions about the olympics and everybody talks about the Olympics. There is a lot of attention and that’s very nice, but I don’t want to get stressed. I need to find a good way between the attention that I get and keeping my focus on the race.
For the mountainbike event, I think the main candidates are Absalon and Schurter. They ride so fast! They are my favourites for the gold medal, but you should never underestimate Kulhavy.