Fear of crashing slowed me down, says Ndayisenga

Tour du Rwanda leader Valens Ndayisenga says Wednesday's crash towards the finish line in stage 3 played so much on his mind during yesterday's stage four which he finished in 4th place, 3 seconds behind winner Salah Eddine Mraouni from Morocco.
Ndayisenga relishes the moment after retaining the iconic Yellow Jersey which was bestowed upon him by Senator Chrysologue Karangwa (right) after finishing a decent fourth in the tour’s fourth stage. (Peter Kamasa)
Ndayisenga relishes the moment after retaining the iconic Yellow Jersey which was bestowed upon him by Senator Chrysologue Karangwa (right) after finishing a decent fourth in the tour’s fourth stage. (Peter Kamasa)

Tour du Rwanda leader Valens Ndayisenga says Wednesday’s crash towards the finish line in stage 3 played so much on his mind during yesterday’s stage four which he finished in 4th place, 3 seconds behind winner Salah Eddine Mraouni from Morocco.

The 20 year old who is taking part in the elite race for the second time still has a 56 second lead over teammate Jean Bosco Nsengimana in the General Classification and promises to give his best in today’s 182km stage 5 race from Rubavu to Nyanza.

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Excited Team Rwanda Fans cheer on local riders at Jenda 20 km from Rubavu.(P.Kamasa)

More importantly, the closest foreign rider, Alone Depretio (Eritrea) is in the fourth spot, one minute and 18 seconds behind the leader Ndayisenga.

“This is my second time to compete in the Tour du Rwanda and I am happy with what I and the team have so far achieved but we have not yet reached our target, which is to win the competition.

I did not perform well today (yesterday) because the rains made the roads very slippery which made me to reduce my speed out of fear of crashing again, but that won’t happen again,” Ndayisenga said ahead of today’s gruelling 182km, the longest in the 8 day race.

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People in Rubavu anxiously wait for the cyclists yesterday.

Aimable Bayingana, Chairman of the Rwanda Cycling Federation, is confident a local rider will emerge victorious in this year’s edition and stresses that it won’t be surprising or an act of luck.

“The performance of our boys is not accidental, not because the other teams are weak. We have put in a lot to prepare them,” Bayingana said adding that alot of effort was directed at preparing the teams to compete favourably.

This year’s edition has been so competitive that no single rider has managed to win two stages in a row. Team Rwanda (Karisimbi) rider Hadi Janvier won the prologue, Eritrea’s Debesay Mekseb won the first stage (Kigali-Ngoma), Ndayisenga took the third round from Rwamagana to Musanze, Eritrea’s Dawit Haile grabbed the fourth (Musanze-Muhanga) while Morocco’s Salah Eddine Mraouni triumphed in yesterday’s fifth stage, Muhanga-Rubavu.

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Eritrean and Africa number one, Debesay Mekseb won the best climber for the third time yesterday. (Peter Kamasa)

Tour du Rwanda

Yesterday (Muhanga – Rubavu) 138,8km

1. Salah Eddine Mraouni (Morocco) 3h46’ 25’’
2. Buru Temesken (Eritrea) 3h46’ 25’’
3.J Bosco Nsengimana (Karisimbi) 3h46’ 25’’
4.Valens Ndayisenga (Karisimbi) 3h46’ 28’’
5.Patrick Byukusenge (Akagera) 3h46’ 32’’
8. Camera Hakuzimana (Akagera) 3h46’ 32’’

General Classification

1. Valens Ndayisenga (Karisimbi) 13h49’ 16’’
2. J. Bosco Nsengimana (Karisimbi) 13h50’ 12’’
3. Joseph Biziyaremye (Karisimbi) 13h50’ 31’’
4. Alone Depretio (Eritrea) 13h50’ 34’’
5. Patrick Byukusenge (Akagera) 13h50’ 41’’

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