The Rwandan Epic is generally one of the best mountain bike stage race experiences I've ever had.

The Rwandan Epic is a 4 day, 4 stage Mountain Bike race, and along with Rwandan teammate Jean Rubewera, Josh took on the first-ever edition of this stage race, on his Mason RAW. There were two marathon stages, a cross country stage, and a short prologue.

However, for Josh, the Rwandan Epic was more than a race, it was a fundraising cycling event to contribute to a better and brighter future for Rwandan cyclists. His rides in Rwanda raise awareness of the Rwanda Beyond, a project that hopes to drive social change, economic development, schooling for cyclists, and much more, read here

Their riding program has three events, all unique races; Rwandan Epic MTB race, Gorilla Gravel, and Race Around Rwanda Bikepacking race. These events are a vital way to raise money for the project and to showcase to the world, just how talented Rwandan cyclists are. 

Here is how Josh got on during the Rwandan Epic MTB race, starting with his pre-race Mason RAW bike check



It was a chaotic start with a big rocky double track, and my teammate clipped a pedal and jammed his chain. My bottle cage came loose, we probably lost 5 minutes so we had to chase back on.

The next day, was a bit different, it was a three-lap cross country race and it was absolutely tipping it down. I did a quick recce in the morning, and there were a few rocky technical sections, we knew it was going to be absolute carnage in the rain!
The following morning there was mud everywhere from the day before but it was the final day. We had a short bus journey, and then we started the final stage, of about 60 kilometers.

The Rwanda epic is generally one of the best mountain bike stage race experiences I've ever had. The trails are really good, really technical, and the people are amazing, the Rwandans racing had such good energy as did the crowds. Couldn't fault the organization and the location was so fantastic, I'll definitely be back at some point.

Watch the full The Rwandan Epic video, by Josh Ibbett and Ryan Le Garrec here.

Photos by: Matt Grayson Photography.