Stage 6: Musanze – Bugesera (121.1km)
Stage 5: Select results
1. Girmay Biniam Hailu (Eritrea) – 3:42:01
2. Joseph Areruya (Delko Marseille) – 3:42:01
3. Daniel Turek (Isreal Academy) – 3:42:01
4. Didier Munyaneza (Benediction) – 3:42:01
5. Jeremy Bellicaud (France) – 3:42:01
6. Moise Mugisha (Rwanda) – 3:42:01
9. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda) – 3:42:04
10. Eric Manizabayo (Benediction) – 3:42:48
30. Merhawi Kudus (Astana) – 3:45:18’
42. Bosco Nsengimana (Benediction) – 3:45:18
44. Samuel Mugisha (DiData) – 3:45:18
1. Merhawi Kudus (Astana) – 17:33:37
2. Taaramae Rein (Direct Energie) – 17:33:54
3. Badilatti Matteo (Israel Academy) – 17:34:22
8. Didier Munyaneza – 17:38:37
10. Joseph Areruya – 17:40:14
11. Valens Ndayisenga – 17:40:27
25. Samuel Mugisha – 17:48:22
31. Jean Bosco Nsengimana – 17:55:13
The finish-line sprint during Thursday's Stage 5 in Musanze. / Plaisir Muzogeye
The love for cycling in Rwanda contributes to making Tour du Rwanda the best race in Africa. / Plaisir Muzogeye
The peloton during Stage 5 on Thursday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
The riders and Tour du Rwanda caravan as they neared Musanze town. / Plaisir Muzogeye
The riders had to negotiate such U-turns on their way from Karongi to Musanze during Stage 5. / Plaisir Muzogeye
This group led Stage 5 for over 120km on Thursday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Through Tour du Rwanda, the riders get to understnd why Rwanda is also known as the country of a thousand hills. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Eritrean youngster Biniam Girmay Hailu underlined his sprinting credentials on Thursday when he edged Joseph Areruya on the line to win Stage 5 of the 2019 Tour du Rwanda.
The 18-year old, of Team Eritrea, claimed the 138.7km stage from Karongi to Musanze in 3 hours 42 minutes and one second. He was in an eight-man sprint that used the same time.
In what looked like a good day for Rwandans, Areruya, Valens Ndayisenga, Moise Mugisha, Didier Munyaneza, Eric Manizabayo and Patrick Byukusenge were part of 12 riders that led the stage from off until the 120km mark when Girmay launched a surprise attack in the final kilometres.
Yellow jersey bearer Merhawi Kudus in action during Stage 5. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Didier Munyaneza is eighth in general classification after five stages. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Girmay Biniam Hailu pops the champagne to celebrate his first Tour du Rwanda stage win. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Joseph Areruya (in front) leads the breakaway in the last three kilometres during Stage 5 on Thursday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Merhawi Kudus is in yellow jersey since Stage 2 on Monday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
This is how Musanze welcomed Tour du Rwanda. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Hundreds of fans line-up the streets to cheer on riders during Stage 5. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Thousands of spectators turned up to live the Tour du Rwanda experience at the finish in Musanze on Thursday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
However, Thursday also proved too harsh on some home riders as Team Rwanda duo of Samuel Hakiruwizeye and Jean Claude Uwizeye abandoned mid-way the stage, bringing the number of abandons to a total eleven as the race heads into Stage 6 from Musanze to Bugesera on Friday.
For the first time at this year’s edition, there were as many as four Rwandans in top ten of a stage. Besides first runner-up Areruya, youngster Didier Munyaneza finished fourth, Moise Mugisha came sixth while two-time champion Valens Ndayisenga finished in ninth position.
Astana Pro Team’s Merhawi Kudus remained in yellow jersey and kept his 17-second lead intact despite finishing in 30th position, 3 minutes and 17 seconds behind compatriot Girmay.
The complexion of the general classification had no major changes – at least in top five – as Taaramae Rein, of Direct Energie, maintained his second position, while Badilatti Matteo – riding for Israel Cycling Academy – completes top three with 45 seconds off the top.
Munyaneza has welcomed offers from professional teams after the ongoing Tour du Rwanda. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Reigning champion Samuel Mugisha (L) and compatriot Didier Munyaneza before Stage 5 kicked off in Karongi. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Rwanda Cycling Federation president, Aimable Bayingana (R), and the Governor of North Province JMV Gatabazi at the finish of Stage 5. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Stage 6 takes Tour du Rwanda to Bugesera District on Friday. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Team Rwanda's Moise Mugisha, 21, was the King of the Mountains (KoM) for Stage 5. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Tour du Rwanda 2019 has not been what former champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana (L) and Patrick Byukusenge had hoped for. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Very few, if any, would argue that Tour du Rwanda is the country's biggest sporting event. / Plaisir Muzogeye
Winners of the day
Thanks to his stage victory, Girmay scooped the Skol jersey and US$1,400 in cash bonus, Pro Roham took the SP jersey for best sprinter of the day, while Inter Pro’s Adrien Guillonnet took the Rwanda Tea award for the most aggressive rider of the stage.
Munyaneza, 21, was double-decorated as the best Rwandan, courtesy of RDB, and the RwandAir jersey for best African rider of the day, while the best climber of the day jersey, sponsored by Cogebank, went to compatriot Moise Mugisha.