Rwandan and Dimension Data rider Joseph Areruya won back Tour du Rwanda Yellow Jersey as he staged impressive performances on day-5 of the Tour du Rwanda, a 200.5km race from Musanze to Nyamata on Thursday.
Areruya’s team mate Eritrean Eyob won the stage in two hours, fifty two minutes and fifty four seconds. Areruya used the same time but finished in second slot.
The Team Dimension Data riders came twenty nine seconds ahead of prologue winner Nsengimana Jean Bosco and fifty seconds ahead of fourth-placed Bike Aid Kenyan rider Kangangi Suleiman.
Sixty riders started the race in Musanze at 10am heading to Nyamata town, Bugesera district where they arrived at around 13h00.
Upon reaching at Rwaza, eight riders comprising of Les Amis Sportifs pair of Jimmy and Rugamba, Ruberwa Jean from Benediction, French born Fayard Sebastian ofTeam Haute Savo and Eritean Symon Musie.
As the riders descended Kigali City, Team Rwanda riders Bosco Nsengimana and Patrick Byukusenge led the peloton which was also composed of team Dimenion Data duo of Areruya and Mein Kent, Bike Aid’s Kenyan Kangangi and defending champion Valens Ndayisenga.
After ascending Nyanza town in Kicukiro district, a group composed of Areruya, Kent main, Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo, Metkel Eyob, Ndayisenga Valens and Suleiman Kangangi left the rest of the riders with a two minute and fifty three seconds (2’53’) gap.
As they edged closer to the finish line, it was now Team Dimension Data duo of Areruya and Eyob that were left to decide who takes over the stage victory.
Instead the duo decided to hold each other on the shoulders as they ensured a joint sprint finish which left Areruya sitting in second slot with his Eritrean teammate Eyob winning the stage though they all posted the same timing.
Despite dropping second in the individual standings, Areruya claimed back the yellow jersey which he had won on day of the Tour du Rwanda in a total time of 13h07’41 while team mate Eyob comes thirty eight seconds behind Areruya, on the general classification.
After finishing the crossing line, Areruya said, “I am happy for reclaiming back the yellow jersey. This was a tough race but thanks to my fellow team mates and Rwandans who helped me along the way to secure it back. Our mission was to secure the yellow jersey and I am glad we did it,”
“Eyob helped me during the hilly routes and with his support, we agreed to stage a joint photo finish which we did and I am glad he has won accolade for this stage victory,” added Areruya.
Action continues on Friday with stage five with riders taking on a 93.1km race from Nyamata to Rwamagana 93.1km. This stage has three categorized climbs.
The 2017 Tour du Rwanda will cover a total distance of 819kilometers, and for the second consecutive year, it’s going on in all the four provinces of the country and Kigali.
Meanwhile, Tour du Rwanda, one of Africa’s most prestigious stage races, will have its rating upgraded by the UCI to 2.1 from 2.2 category in 2019 and will effectively start running from February 24 through March 3.
The upgrade will put Tour du Rwanda on par with long-established races such as the Tour de l’Ain, also known as the Prix de l’Amitié (France), Tour de Haut Var (France) and Tour de Yorkshire (England).
Individual Classification for Stage 3
1. Eyob Metkel (Dimension Data) 02h52’54
2. Areruya Joseph (Dimension Data) 02h52’54
3. Nsengimana Jean Bosco (Team Rwanda) 02h53’49
4. Kangangi Suleiman (Bike Aid) 02h53’49
5. Byukusenge Patrick (Team Rwanda) 02h55’09
6. Main Kent (Dimension Data) 02h55’09
7. Kipkemboi Salim (Bike Aid) 02h55’27
8. Mebrahtom Natnael (Eritrea) 02h55’27
9. Holler Nikodemus (Bike Aid) 02h55’27
10. Goudin Valentin (Haute savoie Auvergne) 02h55’27
General Classification after stage 4
1. Joseph Areruya (Dimension data for Qhubeka) 13h07’41
2. Eyob Metkel (Dimension Data) 38’
3. Kangangi Suleiman (Bike Aid) 01’16’
4. Simon Pellaud (Team Illuminate) 01’33’
5. Nsengimana Jean Bosco (Team Rwanda) 01’44’’
6. Byukusenge Patrick (Team Rwanda) 02’44’
7. Ndayisenga Valens (Tirol cycling team) 02’50’
8. Okubamariam Tesfom (Eritrea National Team) 03’02’
9. Munyaneza Didier (Team Rwanda) 03’02
10. Jeannes Matthieu (Haute Savoi Auvergne) 03’03