Muya and Kinja conquer Time trial individual race in Glasgow

By evelyn watta
Jul 31, 2021
  • Kenyan cyclists during their training in at the Safaricom stadium in Kasarani.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

GLASGOW, After a difficult start to the cycling competition Kenyans John Muya and David Kinja efficiently ground away the 34.4 km race distance of the men’s individual time trial held in rainy, bumpy and hilly conditions in Glasgow riding home in 25th and 27 respectively.

It was an exceptionally emotional return for Kinja, the first mentor and coach of the 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome when he was growing up in Kenya, making a comeback to the team eights years after his last major competition at the commonwealth games in Manchester.

“I almost 43 so I am happy to come back and compete with the youngsters. My race was in honour of Chris Froome. He made me popular,” said Kinja one of the important figures on Kenyan cycling who has helped popularise the sport after completing the 38.4 km course.

His efficient style grinding away on the bumpy and mastering the bends had him hold on to an early lead of the first batch at 57:10.11 before Rwandese Janvier Hadi, the winner of the yellow jersey at the Tour de Rwanda cruised strongly past the finish line in 54:44.18, his time the fastest of the group who unfortunately had to battle the wet conditions before it dried up for the second batch which produced the winner England’s Alex Dowsett.

“The race was fine but there was on part that was wet on the wet and I had the rain in my face. I wish there was sun,” noted Kinja who was about 9minutes 30 seconds behind the winner Dowsett, the British professional cyclist who rides for UCI ProTeam who timed 47:41.

The veteran cyclist and coach who runs Safari Simbas riders club managed to go past six riders 29-year-old Muya, the former milk distributor who mastered the sport while making his deliveries produced the best race for Kenya in the midday race he was second fastest after 26km a minute lost some time tackling the challenging conditions to riding home at the finish in Glasgow green in 56:47.69, the third fastest man in the group.

“It was a tough race on difficult conditions, negotiating the corners was not eay,”admitted Muya, the third place finisher at the 2012 Tour of Rwanda, proof of team Kenya's lack of experience at top level events.

“As a country we have to invest in the sport to improve the level of our cyclists,” he added comparing their conditions and experience of the Rwandese cyclists who are based abroad and have access to better training conditions and coaches.

“For me to prepare and compete effectively its too expensive I need a about ksh 200 000 to acquire a good bike which is not easy money to come by for us as amateurs.”

The top placed African was Namibian Till Drobisch who rides at World Cycling Centre in Switzerland who part of the second group that produced the top 19 finishers.

Suleiman Kangangi did not finish the race as his pedal fell off.

There were no women competitors as they were not entered as they lacked the right bikes to compete in the time trial and are expected to line up for Sunday’s road race alongside the men’s