ALTHOUGH he failed to retain the tour of Rwanda crown, Rwanda’s top cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti showed that he can battle seasoned riders like Adil Jelloul and Saadoune Abdelaati after finishing third in the most competitive cycling competition ever to be held in Rwanda.
The 22-year-old fell short by just 11 minutes after clocking 29hours, 31 minutes and 41 seconds in the 1069km race, but his potential in the mountain climbing category was clear for all to see after sweeping all eight stages.
Moroccans dominated the tour with Adil Jelloul and Saadoune Abdelaati finishing in first and second positions respectively.
Jelloul won the yellow jersey and the Rwf1.1m top prize while fellow country man Abdelaati settled for Rwf0.64m
Niyonshuti of team Karisimbi pocketed Rwf0.42m while teammates Abraham Ruhumuriza, Nicodem Habiyambere and Nathan Byukusenge got Rwf0.2m, Rwf0.1m and Rwf85,000 for finishing 5th, 10th and 11th respectively.
Team Akagera’s Jean de dieu Uwimana and Emmanuel Rudahunga also got cash prizes of Rwf128,000 and Rwf50,000 respectively for finishing 9th and 15th respectively.
In the team category, the Morocco cycling team won the team prize of Rwf0.5m while Karisimbi settled for Rwf 340,000 after finishing second.
Kenya, Team Akagera and Global cycling team of Holland finished third, fourth and fifth pocketing Rwf0.2m, Rwf 128,000 and Rwf85,000 respectively.
Out of 63 cyclists, only 47 managed to finish the grueling eight-day tour.
The tour was sponsored by Ministry of Sports and Culture (Minispoc), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), MTN Rwanda, OCIR-THE, Fina Bank, Western Union, Soras and CNLG.
Tour of Rwanda
Overall ranking (1069km)
1) A. Jelloul (MOR) 29:20:33
2) S. Abdelaati (MOR) 29:23:48
3) A. Niyonshuti (RWA) 29:31:41
4) M. Erragragui (MOR) 29:35:08
5) A. Ruhumuriza (RWA) 29:37:44
Eighth stage results
1. M. Lahsaini (MOR) 3:54:21
2. T. Scholz (GER) 3:54:38
3. A. Saadoune (MOR) 3:54:50
4. A. Jelloul (MOR) 3:54:50
5. E. Andrea (NED) 3:58:21
6. T. Chaoufi (MOR) 3:58:21
7. E. Tavares (POR) 3:58:21
8. E. Lokossue (Ivory Coast) 3:58:21
9. A. Ruhumuriza (RWA) 3:58:21
10. Z. Nderi (KEN) 3:58:21
11. A. Niyonshuti (RWA) 3:58:21