The Cameroon Cycling Federation has published the programme of the Tour of Cameroon 2023. For the first time in a decade, two stages in the northern part of the country have been included in the total circuit of 1,141 kilometres.
The start of the tour is scheduled for 31 May in Figuil. This first stage of 100 kilometres will start in Figuil and go to Garoua, the main town in the northern region. The next stage will be a criterium of 99 kilometres in the city of Garoua.
Fecacyclisme readily admits that the return of the tour to the Grand-Nord is the main singularity of this year’s edition. It is also the proof that the reasons that forced the federation to avoid scheduling stages in the north are no longer considered as limiting factors. First of all, there is the insecurity that was maintained by the Islamic sect Boko Haram. This threat has been annihilated in several towns by the Cameroonian army.
But in addition to insecurity, the poor state of the roads has also largely contributed to the deprogramming of the northern regions. This is no longer the case for the city of Garoua which has seen its road system improved thanks to the work of the African Cup of Nations football tournament that Cameroon hosted last year. One of the pools of this event was housed in this city. This is one of the reasons why the Chantal Biya Race was also held in the northern capital late last year.
Fecacyclisme announced the introduction of what experts have dubbed the “queen stage” of the tour. This stage, the seventh, 105 kilometres long, will start from Loum in the Littoral region for the city of Dschang, in the West region. It is a mountain stage with a 10-kilometre high pass.
The tenth and final stage will leave Bafia on 11 June for the Boulevard du 20-Mai in Yaoundé.