Tour de l’Espoir: Areruya is most combative rider, Eritrean wins stage 1


Rwanda's Joseph Areruya, seen here during a past local race, was voted the most combative rider in stage of Tour de l'Espoir race in Cameroon. / S. Ngendahimana

Stage two, Idenao - Douala - 147km 2:30pm

Wednesday (Stage one)

Top five

1. Natnael Mebrahtom (Eritrea) - 2:25:24
2. Zemenfes Solomon (Eritrea) – 2:25:51
3. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) – 2:25:51
4. Louis Visser (South Africa) – 2:25:53
5. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) – 2:25:53

Team Rwanda

5. Joseph Areruya – 2:25:53
7. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo – 2:28:18
18. Didier Munyaneza – 2:31:05
19. Samuel Hakiruwizeye – 2:31:05
37. Jean Damascene Ruberwa – 2:34:41
48. Samuel Mugisha – 2:35:03

Despite finishing 5th in stage one of the inaugural UCI Under-23 Tour de l’Espoir race in Cameroon on Wednesday, Rwanda’s Joseph Areruya was voted the most combative rider. The race continues today with stage 2, Idenao - Douala - 147km, starting at 2:15pm.

Eritrean Natnael Mebrahton, winner of the opening stage after making a solo escape to claim the 92km in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 24 seconds, 27 seconds ahead of compatriot Zemenfes Solomon and Moroccan El Mehdi Chokri, who took third place.

South Africa’s Louis Visser finished in the fourth position, 29 seconds behind the stage winner, but same time as time as Tour du Rwanda and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo reigning champion, Areruya.

The 21-year old Areruya will be seeking to do better, fight to win the second stage on Friday and narrow down the 29-second deficit on the leader.

A total 83 riders including six Rwandans and ten failed to finish the stage on Wednesday.

Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo finished 7th, Didier Munyaneza (18th), Samuel Hakiruwizeye (19th), Jean Damascene Ruberwa (37th) while Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Samuel Mugisha finished in the 48th spot.

Morocco’s lead cyclist Chokri was named the best climber of the day while Areruya was given the accolade of the most combative competitor of stage one.