Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s cycling sensation Richard Laizer has signed a one-year contract with Germany-based Bike Aid Club.
Laizer, a member of the Arusha Cycling Club, has represented the country in a number of major international events, including the Commonwealth Games.
“Joining Bike Aid is a dream come true and a very big achievement in my cycling career,” Laizer said yesterday.
“Every rider wants to go professional. It is also an inspiration to other Tanzanian riders to work hard and become professional,” he added.
The rider is delighted that the opportunity means a lot to Tanzania as an upcoming cycling nation that has risen from ashes to defy the odds.
This will be the second time for the soft-spoken cyclist to join the club. He featured for the outfit for two months earlier this year.
“Earlier this year, I had a two-month stint with the club. Signing a one-year deal is a big step in my career. Competing at such a level means a lot to any cyclist and, for me, this is a huge achievement. This is a dream come true,” he said.
Laizer who recently won the Karatu Sports Festival in Arusha after clocking at 1:37:25 in the men’s 60-kilometre race, expects to leave for Germany early next year.
“Everything is in place, thanks to my fellow Arusha-based cyclists and the club management for the support they have been giving me,” he said.
“I have seen that whenever I compete abroad, I learn something new all the time,” he said.
Laizer has defied the odds and broken barriers in becoming Tanzania’s first professional cyclist.
The 24-year old rider was in 2013 offered a professional cycling contract with the biggest and most prominent professional cycling team in South Africa, Team MTN QHUBEKA.
Laizer spent most of the year training at the UCI World Cycling Center near Johannesburg, South Africa with his teammates, who are the best young cycling talents from the African continent, including the best from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. He is among a few local cyclists destined for top honours in international events.