Final table standing:
1. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Benediction) 211 points
2. Patrick Byukusenge (Benediction) 210 points
3. Joseph Aleluya (Les Amis Sportifs) 192 points
Rubavu to Kigali – 165km
1. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Benediction) 4:16:02
2. Patrick Byukusenge (Benediction) 4:17:28
3. Joseph Aleluya (Les Amis Sportifs) 4:17:28
4. Abraham Ruhumuriza (CCA) 4:17:51
5. Gasore Hategeka (Benediction) 4:18:48
Benediction’s Jean Bosco Nsengimana emerged winner of the inaugural Rwanda Cycling Cup after winning yesterday’s race from Rubavu to Kigali, a total distance of 165km.
The 21-year-old amassed 211 points from 11 Rwanda Cycling Cup races that commenced in April with the Kivu race from Muhanga to Rubavu which was won by 19-year-old Joseph Aleluya.
Benediction’s Janvier Hadi led a breakaway with a 15-second advantage on the peloton in Bigogwe in Nyabihu district before he was joined by teammate Bonaventure Uwizeyimana in Mukamira.
Les Amis Sportifs’ Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Claude Uwizeye and Aleluya kept within reasonable distance as they led the chasing peloton and caught up with them in Rulindo.
Nathan Byukusenge and Camera Hakuzimana then broke away in Gakenke with a 30-second advantage on the peloton but the chasing peloton later caught up with them.
Immediately, Nsengimana and teammate Patrick Byukusenge orchestrated a breakaway and were joined by Aleluya and Abraham Ruhumuriza.
Nsengimana who had been conserving energy broke away and established a 40-second advantage on the chasers as the riders descended into Kigali.
He pulled away in Kimisagara extending his lead to 58 seconds and maintained this gap through the cobblestones in Nyamirambo before joining the main road looking stronger as he came closer and closer to the finish line, smiling his way to victory.
“I thank my teammates because we worked together and that is how I managed to win. The team plan was for me to win and I did not let my teammates down. Cycling is about mental strength not physical strength,” said the delighted Nsengimana.
Nsengimana emerged the best U-23 rider overall and winner of the Rwanda Cycling Cup while Benediction was the best team.
Meanwhile, Ndayisenga hailed his Les Amis Sportifs’ teammates for the courage they showed throughout the competition especially against a star-studded Benediction side.
“We did well and we are happy with the team effort and courage we showed even though we were just three against a very strong Benediction side. Numbers outdid us. Congratulations to Benediction,” said Ndayisenga whose side finished second.
Beer company SKOL and Cogebanque sponsored the competition which is expected to be an annual event.