Tour du Rwanda 2017 and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2018 reigning champion Joseph Areruya managed a fifth place finish on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Tour de l’Espoir which started on Wednesday in Doula, Cameroon.
The opening day started with a presentation ceremony of all the participating teams before all cyclists took part in the 92km first stage race in Douala.
Areruya clocked 02h25’53 to finish ranked fifth, coming 29 seconds behind 19-year old Eritrean winner Mebrahtom Natnael who finished third in stage one of last year’s Tour du Rwanda.
Another Eritrean rider Selemun Zemenfes posted a second-place finish coming 27 seconds behind his countrymate as he clocked 02h25’51.
In third place is Morocco’s Chokri El Medhi who also came 27 seconds behind the winner while South Africa’s Visser Louis also came in fourth slot, 29 seconds behind the Eritrean winner.
Besides Areruya, Ukiniwabo Jean Paul Rene finished in the top ten as he settle for 7th position after clocking 02h28’17.
Both Munyaneza Didier and Hakiruwizeye Samuel finished 18th and 19th respectively while Ruberwa Jean Damascene and Mugisha Samuel finished a distant 37th and 48th positions respectively.
The competition reserved for cyclist below the age of 23, organised by Vivendi with technical support for the International Cycling Union heads into its second day on Thursday as cyclists will be riding over a 147km race from Idenau to Douala.
The third day of the tour will involve a 101.8km criterium race in Yaounde before concluding with the last stage of the tour where cyclists will ride 80.5km from Akono to Yaounde.
A total of 17 teams from 15 countries namely; Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mali, Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia, Vietnam and Egypt are taking part in the cycling tournament competition which will traverse in three Cameroonian regions of Littoral, the Southwest and the Center, especially in the cities of Douala, Idenau, Limbe, Yaounde.
The best two riders at Tour de l’Espoir will book ticket to compete at the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir in France, a race regarded as the U23 version of the famous Tour de France.
Tour de l’Espoir
Stage One Results,Wedneday
- Mebrahtom Natnael (Eritrea)02h25’24
- Selemun Zemenfes (Eritrea)02h25’51
- Chokri El Medhi (Morocco)02h25’51
- Visser Louis (South Africa)02h25’53
- Areruya Joseph (Rwanda)02h25’53
- Ukiniwabo Jean Paul Rene02h28’17
- Munyaneza Didier02h31’05
- Hakiruwizeye Samuel02h31’05
- Ruberwa Jean Damascene02h34’41 ‘09’17
- Mugisha Samuel 02h’35’03