Cycling Cup win big boost for C'wealth Games - Munyaneza

Didier Munyaneza has admitted that victory in the first race of this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup, dubbed ‘Memorial Lambert Byemayire’ on Saturday, is big motivation as he gears up for the 2018 Commonwealth Games set for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Benediction Club's youngster Didier Munyaneza rides in his solo break away in Saturday’s race, is part of the cycling team that will compete in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. / Sam Ngendahimana
Benediction Club's youngster Didier Munyaneza rides in his solo break away in Saturday’s race, is part of the cycling team that will compete in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. / Sam Ngendahimana

Saturday

Men Elite&U23: Kigali-Huye+6 laps (158km)
1. Didier Munyaneza (Club Benediction) 4h14’38”
2. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Club Benediction) 4h15’09”
3. Patrick Byukusenge (Club Benediction) 4h15’15”
4. Valens Ndayisenga (Pays Olonne Cycliste) 4h15’16”

Men Jrs: Muhanga-Huye+ 2 laps (92km)
1. Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo (Club Benediction) 2h27’37”
2. Jean Claude Muhawenimana (Club Benediction) 2h27’37”
3. Albert Mugisha (Les Amis Sportif) 2h30’38”

Women: Muhanga-Huye (81km)
1. Violette Irakozeneza (Muhazi Cycling Generation) 2h33’03”
2. Jacqueline Tuyishimire (Club Benediction) 2h33’03”
3. Valentine Nzayisenga (Club Benediction) 2h33’08”

Didier Munyaneza has admitted that victory in the first race of this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup, dubbed ‘Memorial Lambert Byemayire’ on Saturday, is big motivation as he gears up for the 2018 Commonwealth Games set for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

The 22-year old, who rides for Rubavu-based Club Benediction, put up a strong solo performance to claim the Kigali-Huye 158km race which was his first competitive victory since making a breakthrough in the national team last year.

Munyaneza claimed the race after covering the distance in 4 hours, 14 minutes and 38 seconds and was followed by his teammates Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (4h15’09”) and Patrick Byukusenge (4h15’15”) in the second and third places respectively.

“Winning is always a good feeling which reflects how hard you have been working. I wanted to win this race so that I can be well motivated when I go with my team in Australia for the Commonwealth Games,” said Munyaneza after his victory in Huye on Saturday.

The Team Rwanda young rider added that, “It was a very tough race with a lot of strong breakaways which shows how all riders were well-prepared and all in good form, so it really a big motivation to win in such a strong field.”

Two-time Tour du Rwanda winner, Valens Ndayisenga, who had led the race before dropping off the pace with a few kilometres left, finished fourth after clocking 4h15’16’.

In the juniors’ category, Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo from Club Benediction won the 92km race after posting 2h27’37”, whereas Muhazi Cycling Generation’s Violette Irakozeneza took the women’s race, covering the 82km race in 2h33’03”.

Munyaneza is part of the cycling team of eight riders that will compete in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games—others are; Joseph Areruya (team captain), Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Claude Uwizeye, Rene Jean Paul Ukiniwabo and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana.

Magnifique Manizabayo and Beatha Ingabire will compete in the women category.

The cycling team is set to jet off to Gold Coast on April 5 where they will join their compatriots of beach volleyball, Para Powerlifting and athletics, who left off on Saturday.

Rwandan athletes will be aiming to end a 9-year Commonwealth Games medal jinx since the country debuted at the 2010 edition in Delhi, India and 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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