La Tropicale Amissa Bongo: Areruya retains yellow jersey


Joseph Areruya (C) retained the yellow jersey after clocking 3h18’49’’ 1’’ yesterday. Net photo


Stage 6: Bitam – Oyem, 107km
Stage 5; Top 8
1. Brenton Jones (Delko-Marseille Proven) 3h18’48’’ 10’’
2. Reguigui Youcef Sovac (Natura4ever) 3h18’48’’ 7’’
3. Nocentini Rinaldo (Sporting / Tavira) 3h18’48’’
4. Selemun Zemenfes (Eritrea) 3h18’49’’ 1’’
5. Holler Nikodemus (Bike Aid) 3h18’49’’ 1’’
6. Mraouni Salaheddine (Morocco) 3h18’49’’ 1’’
7. Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) 3h18’49’’ 1’’
8. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) 3h18’49’’ 1’’

General Classification
1. J. Areruya (Rwanda) 18h12’10’’’
2. H.Nikodemus (Bike Aid) 18h12’21’’ 11’’
3. Gaudin Damien (Direct Energie 18h12’42’’ 32’’
4. Koshevoy Ilia Wilier (Selle Italia) 18h13’54’’ 1’44’’
5. Brenton Delko (Marseille Proven)) 18h19’38’’ 7’28’’

Team Rwanda rider Joseph Areruya retained yellow jersey as Australian Brenton Jones claimed fifth stage, Oyem – Ambam (Cameroon), 141km at the ongoing La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race on Friday in Gabon.

Jones, who rides for French team Marseille Proven won stage five in a time of 3h18’48’’ 10’’ while Areruya came in eighth place, one second behind. It was Brenton’s second stage in four days following his success in stage two (Ndendé – Fougamou, 173km) on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Dimension Data for Qhubekha rider, Areruya beat Australian Jones to win stage four, Ndjolé – Mitzic, 182km and wear the yellow jersey, which he retains going into the last two stages.

But Areruya, 21, winner of Tour du Rwanda in 2017, faces a daunting task to keep the yellow jersey after losing his two key teammates; Valens Ndayisenga and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who crashed out during stage five.

With two stages to go in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, which will be staged on Saturday and Sunday Areruya said, “We have to keep the same spirit in the race because we have shown that we can do better. Today’s stage was hard to win but all in all I am happy that we managed to keep our lead.”

The three other Rwandans remaining in the race, Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo finished in 40th place with 3h19’43’’, Jean Damascene Ruberwa came 47th in 3h19’43” and Didier Munyaneza was 60th with 3hrs, 24 minutes and 8 seconds.

“The target is to maintain the good performance and I believe we will keep doing better. I just need to focus on myself and my team in the final two stages,” added Areruya.

In addition to Ndayisenga and Uwizeyimana, other riders, who have dropped out of the race are; Lengani Amadou and Kouamé Faustin of Côte D`Ivoire, Nikiema Bachirou from Burkina Faso, Mohamed Aziz Melki from Tunisia and Priso Lobe Alain Junior of Cameroon.