Areruya takes Yellow Jersey as Mugisha wins stage 3 of Tour de l’Espoir in Cameroon


Rwanda Cycling Federation president, Aimable Bayingana being interviewed as Yellow Jersey winner Joseph Areruya looks on in Cameroon yesterday. / Courtesy

Saturday, stage 3

Top five
1. Samuel Mugisha – 2:28:40
2. Joseph Areruya – 2:28:40
3. Ejgu Million Beza (Ethiopia) – 2:31:17
4. Didier Munyaneza (Rwanda) – 2:31:24
5. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) – 2:31:24

General classification, stage 3
1. Joseph Areruya – 8:36:47
2. Natnael Mebrahtom (Eritrea) – 8:39:03
3. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) – 2:39:36
4. El Kouraji Mohcine (Morocco) – 8:39:48
5. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo (Rwanda) – 8:41:05

Rwanda international Joseph Areruya put up yet another impressive run on Saturday afternoon to finish second behind teammate Samuel Mugisha in stage 3 to register a 2 minute and 16 seconds atop the standings going into Sunday’s final stage of the inaugural UCI Under-23 Tour de l’Espoir in Cameroon.

It was a day for Team Rwanda, after they occupied three spots in the top five including the stage win for youngster Samuel Mugisha, a Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s teammate with cycling sensation Areruya.

Both Mugisha and Areruya covered the 101.8km Yaoundé Circuit in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 40 seconds.

Mugisha won the stage as Areruya took yellow jersey courtesy of time earned during the previous two stages.

Ethiopian Ejgu Million Beza finished third with 2 minutes and 37 seconds behind the Rwandan duo.

Another Rwandan, 19-year old Didier Munyaneza came in fourth position after clocking 2 hours, 31 minutes and 24 seconds, the same timing used by Moroccan El Mehdi Chokri who finished fifth.

Eritrea’s Natnael Mebrahtom who has held the yellow jersey since stage one on Wednesday, finished in the 8th place on Saturday, also with a timing of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 24 seconds.

He lost it to Areruya who was in fourth position in general classification going into Saturday’s race.

Areruya, 21, did not only dethrone Mebrahtom to take the lead, he was also named the best climber and best sprinter of the day to claim three highly rated accolades of the day.

Going into Sunday’s and last stage of the race, star rider Areruya is highly tipped for another continental victory in less than a month, unless he fails to finish the race.

Winning in Cameroon will earn him three wins in Africa’s most respected cycling events namely, Tour du Rwanda last November and highly coveted La Tropicale Amissa Bongo he took last month.

Stage 4 of the five-day Tour de l’Espoir will cover a total distance of 80.5km stretching from Akono to Yaoundé.