Following his debut at the just concluded 43rd Vuelta a Aragón in Spain, Rwanda’s top-rated cyclist Joseph Areruya has revealed that the event was a fantastic opportunity to earn new experience and gauge his potential against the world’s elites.
From May 11 to 13, the 22-year old reigning Tour du Rwanda and La tropicale Amissa Bongo champion was part of French side Delko Marseille Provence KTM that competed at the famous Vuelta a Aragón, an annual 2.1 category UCI Europe Tour race.
This was Areruya’s second competition with Delko Marseille Provence KTM since joining the club last month nfrom South Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s feeder team.
The former Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana rider finished in the 89th position on the general classification of the three-stage event, and 21st in youth category.
“It was a very tough race, if not the toughest I have ever been to in my career. The race standard was high with extremely gruesome pace and rhythm. I have been to big races before such as Amissa bongo, which is also a 2.1 race, but Vuelta a Aragón is by far the biggest.” Areruya said in a phone interview with Times Sport from France.
Stage one of the three-day race flagged off from Teruel to Caspe, covering a total 180km distance, where Areruya finished 83rd. Stage two started from Huesca to Zaragoza on a 194km distance with Areruya finishing in 123rd place before the final stage from sabiñanigo to Cerler where he managed a 70th position in the 126.6km distance.
“I am in the right place to learn and become the best I can be as a cyclist. I will raise my game through competition and with my new club I now have a chance to get many races to improve before I can start thinking of podium finishes,” Africa’s top rider further noted.
This year’s edition of resuscitated Vuelta a Aragón, first edition since 2005, was won by Jaime Roson from Spain’s Moviestar after clocking a total time of 11 hours, 50 minutes and 59 seconds, beating Areruya’s teammate Javier Moreno by a difference of four seconds.