The Rusiga-Musanze race, also known as the Queen Stage, ended in favor of Belgian duo Frans Claes and Jens Schuermans whose pace remains a major threat to other riders as the mountain bike race takes shape. The caravan headed to the northern region of the country from stage 2 departure in Rusiga. Riders got a solid 100 kilometers in front of their wheels with no less than 2,600 meters of climbing. The Belgians arrived at the Musanze finishing line after clocking 4 hours 8 minutes and 52 seconds. There was not much time to warm up as the route immediately went up steeply on a wide red gravel road. Shortly after the start, a small leading group was formed containing four teams. Team Amani with John Kariuki (Kenya) and Jordan Schleck (Uganda) took the initiative and led the breakaway. However, saddle problems later haunted the duo’s pursuit of their Belgian opponents only to finish second. There was a gap of 32 minutes and 39 seconds between the two teams. Rwanda’s Jean Eric Habimana and his Lesotho teammate Tumelo Makae continue to see their hopes of winning this year’s mountain bike race fade. They were outpaced in the past two stages. They finished the Rusiga-Musanze race alone trailing 5 minutes and 27 seconds. The victory in Musanze saw Claes and Schuermans positioning themselves to win the race which concludes in Rubavu on Saturday, November 5. In the mixed teams, Team Kenya’s Nancy Debe and Kenneth Karaya, who were competing for the first time in a stage race are the first mixed team to make it in the top 10. They took the ninth position in the general classification, a performance that Karaya attributes to his perfect collaboration with his teammate Debe. Nancy and I are from the same region in Kenya. That comes in handy when you want to train together. That way we get used to each other in a quick way,” he said. For the next two days, the Rwandan Epic remains in the north of the country. For many riders, this will be a unique introduction to Rwanda.