Team Rwanda rider Munyaneza Didier had a perfect start as he registered an impressive third place on General Classification of the first stage of the 2019 Tropicale Amissa Bongo which started in Bongoville and climaxed in Moanda, Gabon in Libreville, the nation’s capital on Monday.
Munyaneza spent the whole of Monday afternoon in the breakaway giving hard time to the Niccolo Bonifazio from Direct Energie who emerged the winner of the first stage.
Munyaneza clocked clocked two hours, forty three minutes and sixteen seconds (02h43’16) to come behind Italian Niccolo who won the stage in 02h43’13 and took the yellow jersey while Eritrean Tesfom Sirak came in second slot clocking 02h43’15.
With his performance, Munyaneza claimed the Best Young Riders Jersey which is a big motivation for him as heads into Tuesday’s second stage of the week-long La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
Other Team Rwanda riders Uwizeyimana Bonaventure finished 16th, Uwizeye Jean Claude finished 21st, reigning champion Areruya Joseph finished 26th, Nkurunziza Yves managed 33rd finish while Tour du Rwanda reigning champion Mugisha Samuel finished a distant 38th, all clocking 02h43’23 respectively.
Action continues on Tuesday with cyclists heading to Okondja from Franceville covering 170km.
The seven-stage race will cover a total of 860 kilometers, this time visiting Equatorial Guinea via Cameroon and a total of 15 teams have been confirmed to compete – including 10 African national teams and five professional teams.
At the 2019 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race, Rwanda is represented by six cyclists; Areruya, reigning Tour du Rwanda champion Samuel Mugisha, reigning national champion Didier Munyaneza, Tour du Cameroun 2018 winner Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Jean Claude Uwizeye and Yves Nkurunziza.
Rwandan Areruya, 23, who moved into the professional ranks with French side Delko-Marseille, is the reigning champion.
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo
Monday’s Stage 1 Results
General Classification after stage 1
1. Niccolo Bonifazio (Direct Energie 2:24:13
2. Sirak Tesfom (Eritrea) 0:19:02
3. Didier Rwanda 0:19:03
4. Lorrenzo Manzin (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) 0:19:04
5. Andre Greipel (Arkea-Samsic) 0:19:06
6. Youcef Reguigui Algeria 0:19:10
7. Henok Mulueberhan Eritrea
8. Alexandre Pichot (Direct Energie)
9. Du Plooy Rohan (Pro Touch)
10. Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)
Selected Rwandan riders Results
16. Uwizeyimana Bonaventure (Rwanda) – 02h43’23
21. Uwizeye Jean Claude (Rwanda) – 02h43’23
26. Areruya Joseph (Rwanda) – 02h43’23-
33. Nkurunziza Yves (Rwanda) – 02h43’23
38. Mugisha Samuel (Rwanda) – 02h43’23
La Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2019 Roadmap
January 21: Stage 1: Bongoville – Moanda (100km)
January 22: Stage 2: Franceville – Okondja (170km)
January 23: Stage 3: Leconi – Franceville (100km)
January 24: Stage 4: Mitzic – Oyem (120km)
January 25: Stage 5: Bitam – Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea, 120km)
January 26: Stage 6: Bitam – Oyem (110km)
January 27: Stage 7: Nkok – Libreville (140km)