Commonwealth Games: Areruya finishes Africa's second best in men’s ITT

The 2017 Tour du Rwanda champion, Joseph Areruya is competing at the ongoing Commonwealth games (Sam Ngendahimana)

Top three

1. Cameron Meyer (Australia) – 48:13:04
2. Harry Tanfield (England) – 48:43:30
3. Hamish Bond (New Zealand) – 48:45:45

Rwandans

13. Joseph Areruya – 52:24:16
24: Valens Ndayisenga – 54:06:50

RWANDA international Joseph Areruya put up an inspiring performance on Tuesday morning to finish Africa's second best rider, and 13th overall, in men’s Individual Time Trial (ITT) at the ongoing XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland – Australia.

Tour du Rwanda and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo reigning champion covered the 38.5km course in 52 minutes, 24 seconds and 4 seconds, four minutes and twelve seconds behind Australian maestro Cameron Meyer (48:13:04) who won gold.

Areruya, 22, finished second best among 17 African riders on the 61-man startlist, behind South Africa’s Brandon Davids (51:44:00) who finished in the tenth place. Unlike Areruya, Davids rides for Australian side Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo and the terrain and weather in Australia was nothing new for him.

“So proud of our young man Joseph Areruya taking #13 in the men's ITT at Commonwealth Games today! Awesome to see Rwanda so high up in the results - our best ever finish to date and the second best African rider behind mighty Brendon Davids.” Team Rwanda Cycling tweeted to congratulate sensational Areruya right after the race on Tuesday.

Another Rwandan star rider, Valens Ndayisenga who is making his second appearance in Commonwealth Games, used 54:06:50 to finish in the 24th position and fourth best among African cyclists. Dirk Coethe (53:16:85) of Namibia finished 19th overall, and third best African.

Set for a move to French side Delko–Marseille Provence KTM after the Commonwealth Games on April 15, Areruya will be back in action on Saturday, vying for honors in the main race of the event – Elite men’s road race.

The men’s road race will be a 166-cylist peloton tussling it out on a distance of 168.3km, nine laps across the host city – Gold Coast, with the start and finish-line at Currumbin Beachfront.

Rwanda will have 6 riders in the contest, Areruya and Ndayisenga will be joined by Jean Claude Uwizeye, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Didier Munyaneza and Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo.

By joining the UCI Professional Continental Team in France, Areruya becomes the first African cyclist to ride for the club. He penned a two-year contract last month.

What you need to know about the champion

Men’s ITT gold medallist Cameron Meyer is one of Australia's most decorated cyclists.

The world champion track cyclist added Commonwealth Games gold on the road to his lengthy list of accomplishments, with victory in the men's individual time trial on Tuesday.

Meyer, who also has a Tour Down Under crown to his name and stage wins in the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, clocked a time of 48 minutes and 13.04 seconds, as he expertly negotiated the tricky 38.5-kilometre course in Currumbin to add another gold to Australia's tally.

His victory came just two days after he was fourth in the points race on the track at the Anna Meares Velodrome, where he had also finished 10th in the scratch race.

Meyer has won nine world championships across different events on the track. He was already a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist but never before on the road.

 

 

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