The 2017 Tour du Rwanda winner, Joseph Areruya lost the 2017 Best African Cyclist of the year award to South African Louis Meintjes who re-signed for Dimension Data for Qhubeka mid this year.
Meintjes was today announced the winner of the African cyclist of the year by the organizers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
The 22-year old Rwandan Areruya finished second while Kudus Merhawi, Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider was voted in third spot.
Meintjes beat Areruya to the title following his exceptional back-to-back top 10 overall finishes in the Tour de France this year. Riding for UAE Team Emirates, Meintjes finished overall 6th at the Tour of the Basque Country, 8th overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné and 8th overall Tour de France respectively.
On the otherhand, Areruya who this year’s Tour du Rwanda managed to stage some impressive performances as he won the fifth stage of Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, finished 6th in the road race and 7th in the time trial of the African Road Championship, 6th at the African Continental Championships – Road Race respectively among many highlights of 2017.
The African Best Cyclist trophy-award started in 2012 by Gabonese organizers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The purpose was to promote African cycling and recognize the rider who contributed, through his or her results, the most to make African cycling known.
The jury chaired by Bernard Hinault, the five-time Tour de France winner, including sports directors, coaches, African riders, African and European journalists voted the winner.
This is the second time that Meintjes is winning the African Best Cyclist title following his heroic performances in 2013.
Other winners who have won the award include Natnael Berhane (2012), Mekseb Debesay (2014), Daniel Teklehaimanot (2015) and Tesfom Okubamariam (2016).