The Climbs of the 2025 UCI world championships

Discover the main challenges of the 2025 road world championships in Kigali

They say Rwanda is the land of a 1000 hills, and the 2025 UCI road cycling world championships in Kigali is tackling quite some of those!

From the well known Mur de Kigali, to the oddly called “Norvège” and the cobbled climb that might very well define the final of the race, discover the biggest challenges of the course!

Please do note that it is still possible part of the loop will be changed closer to the race (date of this article is January 2024)

The Loops.

There will be two different loops that will be done a certain amount of times by different race categories.

  • Mount Kigali loop with Mur de Kigali
  • City centre loop with climbs in Kimihurura and Kacyiru

These loops will be tested for a first time in the 2024 Tour du Rwanda. The current plan is to start with the central loop, then do the Mt Kigali loop once and finish with a number of city loops (Elite Men would do 14 times the small loop total)

The Climbs

1. KN 3 (péage)

The first climb of the large Mt Kigali loop is a straight 4 lane boulevard into the Central Business District of Kigali (The climb will use two of the lanes, and the peloton will take the same road down at the end of this loop).

The point halfway this climb is traditionally called péage, we have not yet figured out why exactly it is named as such, there must have been a toll booth been set up at this spot many years ago.

Distance1.7 km
Average grade5.8%
Max grade7.7%
Road SurfaceTarmac
Matching Strava Segment:
2. Mt. Kigali (Norvège)

This was a gravel road until 2019. The slopes from the Nyabarongo River Valley to the summit of Mount Kigali is called Norvège by Rwandans since the topography and climate over the valley reminded them of Norwegian landscapes. Although this might be a bit of an exaggeration, this is both a stunning and a very hard climb.

Don’t let the average gradient fool you, two small flat sections during the climb are bringing it down, these sections effectively split this climb into three distinct stages, with the last stage the hardest, reaching near 20% just before the summit.

Distance5.75 km
Average grade6.6%
Max grade19%
Road SurfaceTarmac
Matching Strava Segment:
3. Wall of Kigali (Kwa Mutwe)

Probably the most famous of the many cobbled climbs in Kigali, the Mur de Kigali is a short but steep challenge in the Nyamirambo neighbourhood. The local name “Kwa Mutwe” means “At The Head”, named after the person (nick)named Mutwe who used to live here and was resposible for the construction of this road.

As far as cobbled climbs go, this could perhaps be compared to the Paterberg in Belgium, short and steep, and definitely hard enough to split up a peloton . Another similarity with the Paterberg: positioning before the (righthand) turn onto the cobbles will be very important!

Distance0.45 km
Average grade10%
Max grade20%
Road SurfaceCobbles
Matching Strava Segment:
4. KG 548 road

The first of the two major climbs on the smaller circuit, from the golf course in the valley between the Nyarutarama and Kacyiru neighbourhood up to the “embassy row” and the office of the president.

Not much to say about this climb except that it will undoubtedly hurt after many repetitions of this lap, so much that even the speedbump halfway will become a challenge.

Distance0.8 km
Average grade8%
Max grade12%
Road SurfaceTarmac
Matching Strava Segment:
5. Kimihurura Cobbles

Nicknamed the Kimiberg on Strava, this final cobbled climb of the circuit might still be rather unknown with the international supporter, it is very well known with locals.

The neighbourhood itself is a mix of nice houses, many restaurants and some hip clubs and bars, the climb is seemingly never ending, with the steepest part in the beginning, and the last straight drag of cobbles the perfect opportunity to really drop your opponents before the final stretch to the finish line

Distance1.25 km
Average grade6%
Max grade14%
Road SurfaceCobbles
Matching Strava Segment:
6. The Final Stretch

The Kimiberg might be the last proper climb on the circuit, we’re not crossing the finish line yet. The final stretch to the KCC is more than a false flat, with the ultimate 500 meters topping out at 8% (although the 200 meters downhill just before will make sure the final sprint will still be at a very high speed).

Distance0.5 km
Average grade4.5%
Max grade8%
Road SurfaceTarmac
Matching Strava Segment:

Cycling in Kigali

Want to test some of these roads, any of the other cobbled climbs or perhaps the majestic gravel roads around the city yourself, you can find some route suggestion here on this website! And of course you can end with a coffee at Tugende, just some 100 metres away from the finish line.

We made a course which combines the two loops into one 50km ride: