Team Rwanda finishes third as Bike Aid's Holler wins 2017 Tour of Cameroon


Valens Ndayisenga, who was making his debut in Cameroon, finished 10th in the general classification. Sam Ngendahimana

General classification: Top ten

1. Holler Nikodemus- Bike Aid (Ger) 24h:01':27'
2. Mraouni Salaheddine- Morocco 24h:02':13'
3. Van Engelen Adne- Global Cycling Team (Ned) 24h:02':50'
4. Haring Martin- Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slov) 24h:03':18'
5. Tybor Patrik- Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slov) 24h:03':32'
6. Teshome Hagos Meron- Bike Aid (Ger) 24h:03':42'
7. Saber Lahcen- Morocco 24h:04':10'
8. Suleiman Kangangi- Bike Aid (Ger) 24h:04':15'
9. Legley Matthias- Naturablue Cycling Team (Bel) 24h:04':23'
10. Valens Ndayisenga- Rwanda 24h:04':44'

Other Rwandans
11. Jean-Claude Uwizeye 24h:04':51'
13. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana 24h:05':20'
14. Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo 24h:05':37'
21. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 24h:11':43'
23. Ephrem Tuyishimire 24h:12':57'

Team Classification
1. Bike Aid (Germany) 72h:09’:18”
2. Morocco 0:13”
3. Rwanda 2’:02”
4. Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slovakia) 6’:03”
5. SNH Vélo Club (Cameroon) 28’:21”
6. Club De La Defence (France) 36’:30”
7. Naturablue Cycling Team (Belgium) 42’:23”
8. Global Cycling Team (Netherlands) 49’:01”
9. Cameroon 1h:06’:48”
10. Ivory Coast 1h:41’:36”

Despite fielding an experienced team for this year’s edition of Tour of Cameroon, Team Rwanda failed to live up to their pre-race ambitions after the team failed to win a single stage.

The annual eight-stage event started on March 11 and climaxed on Sunday in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé. Rwanda finished third in the team general classification, behind Germany-based UCI Continental Team Bike Aid and Morocco national team.

German Holler Nikodemus, riding for Bike Aid, won the tour after covering the 956.7km distance using a total time of 24 hours, one minute and 27 seconds. He dethrones Morocco’s Errafai Mohamed, who was the defending champion.

Unlike the previous editions where Team Rwanda riders had won several stages, this time round, the team did not only fail to win a single stage but also had one rider finishing in the top ten.

Team captain Valens Ndayisenga, who was making his debut in the Tour of Cameroon and was Rwanda’s main hope for success, could only managed to finish tenth, clocking 24h04'44', three minutes and 17 behind the champion winner.

It was a comfortable win for the 25-year-old Holler who worn the yellow jersey from stage two until the final stage on Sunday, beating his closest rival Mraouni Salaheddine of Morocco (24h02'13') by 46 seconds.

Van Engelen Adne from Global Cycling Team of the Netherlands finished third after posting 24h02'50', with Haring Martin from Dukla Banska Bystrica of Slovakia claiming fourth place in 24h03'18'.

Team Rwanda’s Jean Claude Uwizeye finishing 11th in a time of 24h04’51’’ while Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (13th) clocked 24h05'20' followed by Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo (14th) with 24h05'37'.

Jean Bosco Nsengimana (21st) and Ephrem Tuyishimire (23rd) clocked 24h11'43' and 24h12'57' respectively.

However, on a positive note, Nsengimana was the competitions overall best climber with 38 points ahead of Jelloul Adil from Morocco (28 points) while Ndayisenga, Uwizeye and Ukiniwabo topped the youth (U23) classification.

The team, which was under coach Felix Sempoma, arrives in the country on Monday evening.