Today, Stage 3
Valenca to Rio das Flores, 166km
Yesterday, Stage 2 Results
1. Cesar Gustavo Veloso (Quinta da Lixa) 4:20:56
2. Alex Diniz (Carrefour Funvic Soul) 4:22:44
3. Raul Alarcon (Quinta da Lixa) 4:22:44
20. Patrick Byukusenge 4:37:34
26. Camera Hakuzimana 4:51:48
41. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 4:53:22
48. Joseph Aleluya 4:56:01
55. Joseph Biziyaremye 4:58:36
57. Janvier Hadi 4:58:36
Team Rwanda rider Patrick Byukusenge finished on an impressive 20th position at stage two of the ongoing Tour do Rio from Angra dos Reis to Valenca, which covered a total distance of 175km and was marred by rain and cold.
Byukusenge, who won the Western Circuit in the Rwanda Cycling Cup last Sunday, currently sits 21st in the general classification of the UCI America Tour race.
Team Rwanda Cycling coach Sterling Magnell told Times Sport that, “It was an incredibly difficult day with rain, cold and more crazy cobblestones and dangerous roads. The race blew apart with no groups bigger than 15.”
He says, a long 15km hard climb at the beginning of the race split the peloton into groups with team captain Janvier Hadi and Joseph Biziyaremye getting relegated (group two) but rallied hard to finish within the time limit working as a team for 170km.
According to Magnell, attrition took its toll on debutant Joseph Aleluya, Camera Hakuzimana and Jean-Bosco Nsengimana who lost strength through sustained attacks and that the race was 190km, 15km more than it was supposed to be.
This, he said, saw many riders dropping out or finishing behind the limit and are ejected from the race—stage one saw 84 riders complete the race but stage two saw the number down to 68.
“Team Rwanda rode with courage and all are safe and happy. I am very proud of them,” noted Magnell, a former US national champion.
Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (8:47:51) and Joseph Aleluya (8:52:08) maintained their second and third place respectively in the U-23 category behind Brazilian Augusto Fernando Finkler (8:12:14) after two stages and a total distance of 333km.
Veloso (Quinta da Lixa) is leading the general classification with 8:02:38, followed by Diniz (8:05:27) and Alarcon is third, behind by just a second.
Byukusenge sits in 21st position after amassing 8:23:01 while Biziyaremye (34th), Nsengimana (36th), Hakuzimana (37th), Aleluya (44th) and Hadi (53rd) follow in that order out of 68 riders.
Today’s stage three is from Valenca to Rio das Flores, a total distance of 166km. Tour do Rio is a 2.2 event and is the 25th event on this year’s UCI America Tour. Team Rwanda Cycling is the only African team competing at the highly rated annual competition.