Team Rwanda in historic top finish at Tour do Rio

Team Rwanda rider Camera Hakuzimana registered his side’s highest finish at the ongoing Tour do Rio in stage four from Valenca to Teresopolis, a total distance of 153km on Saturday when he finished 12th at the 2.2 UCI America Tour event.
Team Rwanda rider Camera Hakuzimana (second) during the Tour do Rio race on Saturday. (Courtesy)
Team Rwanda rider Camera Hakuzimana (second) during the Tour do Rio race on Saturday. (Courtesy)

Stage four results

Top three:

Valenca to Teresopolis – 153km

1. Kleber Ramos Silva (Brasilinvest) 3:33:35
2. Joao Gaspar (Brasilinvest) 3:33:39
3. Oscar Sevilla (Metropolitana) 3:33:40

Rwandans:

12. Camera Hakuzimana 3:34:29
14. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 3:34:33
16. Patrick Byukusenge 3:34:46
22. Joseph Aleluya 3:36:14
44. Janvier Hadi 3:46:45
58. Joseph Biziyaremye 3:49:54

Team Rwanda rider Camera Hakuzimana registered his side’s highest finish at the ongoing Tour do Rio in stage four from Valenca to Teresopolis, a total distance of 153km on Saturday when he finished 12th at the 2.2 UCI America Tour event.

Hakuzimana crossed the finish line 54 seconds after stage winner Kleber Ramos Silva of Brasilinvest who clocked 3:33:35 to grab his first victory at the five-day event that attracted 85 riders from over eight teams.

His teammates Jean Bosco Nsengimana (3:34:33) and Patrick Byukusenge (3:34:46) followed closely in 14th and 16th positions, respectively, to register a remarkable performance for the national side that is the only African team in this year’s competition.

Teenage debutant Joseph Aleluya (3:36:45) came in 22nd position while team captain Janvier Hadi (3:46:45) and national road race champion Joseph Biziyaremye (3:49:54), who had suffered a mechanical problem, settled for 44th and 58th positions in that order.

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Team Rwanda Cycling praying after stage four at the Tour do Rio yesterday. (Net photo)

Hadi had earlier led a breakaway for 100km with a four and a half minute lead on the peloton but eventual winner Silva caught up with him at the century point.

“Janvier (Hadi) went in the early move which took pressure off us and had a realist chance of winning with a lead of 4.5 minutes at one point. Aside from a flat tire for Biziyaremye on the final climb, the day went perfect,” explained Team Rwanda Cycling coach, Sterling Magnell.

Team Rwanda was among only four teams out of 15 with a full contingent of six riders for Sunday’s final stage—Teresopolis to Rio de Janeiro – 145km

Nsengimana (16:23:00) and Aleluya (16:28:02) maintained second and third positions in the U-23 category while Brazilian Augusto Fernando Finkler kept his grip on the overall lead with 15:50:31 after four stages and a total distance of 652km.

“The last stage has small climbs and a sprint will be good. It is a long fast stage and the finish in Rio and we swing for the fence and we reserve nothing,” revealed Magnell.

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