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Head off for a bicycle ride anywhere in Uganda and it doesn't take long before the asphalt roads give way to something less certain under your wheels. Dirt tracks make up large portions of the East African country.

A bike trail that spans almost 1600km of the country describes conditions thus: “The trail crosses the country from the extreme southwest to the far northeastern corner offering the best cultural and natural highlights that Uganda has to offer. The route traverses through the green hills of Bwindi and Kisoro, passes through several National Parks that are home to extraordinary wildlife, crosses the mighty river Nile and Lake Victoria, climbs the slopes of Mount Elgon and goes deep into Karamoja where the authentic nomadic culture is still present.”

It sounds blissful, yes, but far from conducive to producing great Olympic track cyclists or future Tour de France winners.

Nevertheless, the description seems to perfectly encapsulate the sentiments of the great Belgian cyclist, Eddy Merckx, who famously recorded his own thoughts on the whole exercise when he said: "Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride."

It is a call heeded by Paul Lomuria and Lorot Laurence who have overcome all manner of obstacles in their efforts to compete in Glasgow this week as part of the Uganda team taking part at the UCI World Championships. Lomuria competes in the U23 Road Race and Individual Time Trial and Laurence lines up in the Junior Road Race and Individual Time Trial. 

Their presence here has come about through the help of 1moreChild, a charity set up to enable street children in the eastern Ugandan city of Jinja to go to school and to attempt to get on in life. Jinja is a tourist centre, a place where sport plays a key role in the economic status of the city but it is hardly a boom town for producing world class athletes.

As you might imagine, neither Lomuria nor Laurence have access to traditional training methods, support or funding and the fact that they come from the streets to race in Glasgow is little short of a miracle.

The Herald:

The pair have been supported for 12 years by the cycling event management company, Ride25, which organises numerous cycling fundraisers throughout the year to raise vital funds needed to keep 1moreChild running and helped the two cyclists achieve their dream of racing for their country at a global competition.

John Readman, patron of 1moreChild, said: "We extend our gratitude to Ride25 and all our sponsors for their unwavering support in our mission to empower vulnerable children in Jinja, Uganda. 

"Paul and Laurence's success story is a testament to the transformative power of sport and highlights the potential within each child. We believe that with the right opportunities and support, every child can reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances."

The former has had podium finishes in almost every event he has competed in in Africa and Readman is fascinated to watch how he measures against international competition this week.

“How he fares will depend on who turns up this week but it will be a good test to see how good he is. Laurence is a bit more inexperienced so it will be a case of waiting to see how he performs.”

Regardless of how they fare, this is one of those occasions when the taking part is what counts most.