Eritrean Biniam Hailu Girmay ended Rwanda’s chances of registering a stage victory as he claimed the 138.7km stage five from Karongi district to Musanze District on Thursday.
With over 100km in lead, Rwandan riders led by regning African cyclist of the year Areruya Joseph of Delko-Marseille Provence, Munyaneza Didier of Benediction Excel Energie and Mugisha Moise of Team Rwanda could not contain Eritrean rider Girmay in the last 5km of the stage as they lost the battle in a final sprint finish.
Mugisha and Ndayisenga tried twice to attack from the breakway which included eight riders with five Rwandan riders in the group but their efforts could not yield anything as they were successfully brought back.
It was a final sprint finish that denied Areruya, Munyaneza and Mugisha a chance to lift a stage in the on-going Tour du Rwanda, which has remained elusive to the hosts.
Girmay went to win record his first stage victory in 03h42’01 with Areruya managing a second place finish while Turek Daniel of Israel Cycling Academy finished in third spot.
Other Rwandans Munyaneza, Mugisha, Ndayisenga and Manizabayo Eric finished inside the top ten, placing 4th, 6th, 9th and 10threspectively.
Unfortunately, Team Rwandan pair of Jean Claude Uwizeye and Hakiruwizeye Samuel was casualties of the Tour du Rwanda as they abandoned the tour.
With his fourth-place finish, the reigning national champion, Munyaneza snatched the jersey for best Rwandan rider while Mugisha claimed the King of the Mountain jersey after his brave efforts which saw him claim four category mountains.
Despite finishing in 30th place, Astana Pro Team’s Merhawi Kudus maintained his 17-second lead in yellow jersey ahead of Estonian Taaramae Rein of Direct Energie and 45 seconds ahead of third-placed Swiss Badilatti Matteo of Israel Cycling Academy.
The best-placed Rwandan on the general classification is Munyaneza Didier of Benediction Excel Energie who is placed 8th, coming five minutes behind the winner.
Areruya has improved from 15th to 10th position on the general classification following Thursday’s performances.
Action continues on Friday with stage six which will see riders undertaking 121.1km from Musanze to Nyamata.
Tour du Rwanda
Stage Five (Karongi-Musanze-138.7km)
- Girmay Hailu Biniam (Eritrea)-03h42’01
- Areruya Joseph (Delko Marseille Provence, Rwanda) -03h42’01
- Turek Daniel (Israel Cycling Academy) -03h42’01
- Munyaneza Didier (Benediction Excel Energie, Rwanda) -03h42’01
- Bellicarud Jeremy (France U-23) -03h42’01
- Mugisha Moise (Team Rwanda) -03h42’01
- Guillonnet Adrien (Interpro Cycling academy, France) -03h42’01
- Langat Geoffrey Kiprotich (Kenya) -03h42’01
- Ndayisenga Valens (Team Rwanda) -03h42’04
- Manizabayo Eric (Benediction Excel Energie) -03h42’48
General Classification after Stage 5
- Kudus Merhawi (Astana Pro team, Eritrea) -17h33’37
- Taaramae Rein (Direct Energie, Estonia) -17’
- Badilatti Mateo (Israel Cycling team, Swiss) -45’
- Aguirre Caipa Herman Ricardo (Interpro team, Colombia) -01’00
- Tesfom Sirak (Eritrea) -04’14
- Lozano Riba David (Team Novo Nordisk, Spain) -04’40
- Kangangi Suleiman (Kenya) -04’56
- Munyaneza Didier (Benediction Excel Energy, Rwanda) -05’00
- Bellicaud Jeremy (France U-23 team) -06’19
- Areruya Joseph (Delko Marseille Provence, Rwanda) -06’37