PHOTOS: Ndayisenga wins Tour du Rwanda

After his historic feat in 2014 when he became the first Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda since it become a 2.2 category UCI Africa Tour race in 2009, Valens Ndayisenga has again set a new record as the first rider to win the international road race twice.
On top of winning the race, Ndayisenga also clinched the best young rider award, best African rider award and best Rwandan rider award. / Faustin Niyigena
On top of winning the race, Ndayisenga also clinched the best young rider award, best African rider award and best Rwandan rider award. / Faustin Niyigena

Stage 7: Top 10
1. Tesfom Okubamariam- Eritrea National Team 02h43’21’’
2. Eyob Metkel- Dimension Data for Qhubeka 02h43’21’’
3. Valens Ndayisenga- Dimension Data 02h43’24’’
4. Aman Werkilul Ghebreigzabhier-Dimension Data 02h43’40’’
5. Elyas Afewerki- Eritrean National Team 02h43’40’’
6. Timothy Rugg- Team LowestRates.ca 02h44’02’’
7. Joseph Areruya- Les Amis Sportif 02h44’15’’
8. Omer Goldshtein- Cycling Team Academy 02h44’15’’
9. Dimitri Bussard- Meubles Descartes Prod 02h44’19’’
10. Justin Paroz- Meubles Descartes Prod 02h44’19’’

General Classification
1. Valens Ndayisenga- Dimension 21h15’21”
2. Eyob Metkel- Dimension Data 21h16’00’’
3. Tesfom Okubamariam- Eritrea National Team 21h16’51’’
4. Joseph Areruya- Les Amis Sportif 21h18’13’’
5. Aman Werkilul Ghebreigzabhier-Dimension Data 21h19’26”
6. Kibrom Hailay Giday-Ethiopia National Team 21h19’34’’
7. Temesgen Mebrahtu Buru- Ethiopia National Team 21h20’08’’
8. Dimitri Bussard- Meubles Descartes Prod 21h20’24’’
9. Jean Bosco Nsengimana- Stradalli Bike Aid 21h20’24’’
10. Suleiman Kangangi-Kenyan Riders DownUnder 21h20’45’’

Individual awards:
Best climber
Samuel Mugisha- Club Benediction

Best young rider
Valens Ndayisenga

Best Rwandan rider
Valens Ndayisenga

Best team
Dimension Data for Qhubeka

After his historic feat in 2014 when he became the first Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda since it become a 2.2 category UCI Africa Tour race in 2009, Valens Ndayisenga has again set a new record as the first rider to win the international road race twice.

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Soras Insurance Company awarded Ndayisenga as the best young rider of the tour. / Faustin Niyigena
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Cyclists race in the 108km stage 7 of Tour du Rwanda 2016. / Faustin Niyigena

The Rwamagana-born star, riding for South Africa’s Dimension Data For Qhubeka, scooped his second title after finishing on top of the general classification of the eight-day seven-stage race that concluded on Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium.

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Fans of all ages were out to cheer the riders yesterday in Remera. / Faustin Niyigena
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The race to Amahoro Stadium was too close to call. / Faustin Niyigena

The 22-year-old, who took the yellow jersey after stage two, Kigali-Karongi setting a gap of one minute and 25 seconds, maintained his lead until the last day despite his teammate Eyob Metkel closing the gap to only 39 seconds.

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R-L: CEO of RDB Francis Gatare, Ndayisenga and Belise Kariza the Chief Tourism Officer at RDB after awarding the winner as the best Rwandan rider of the tour. / Faustin Niyigena

Following this triumph, Ndayisenga bagged a total of US$4,455 (about Rwf3.6 million). This included $1900 for the overall winner, $300 for best young rider, $300 for best Rwandan rider and $300 for best African rider.

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Isabel Fernandes, president of the jury of the 2016 Tour du Rwanda. / Faustin Niyigena

He also walked away with $1360 for the two stages (second and sixth stages) he won. Each stage had $680 up for grabs.

For finishing the prologue in the sixth position he got $30, while in first stage he got $20 after finishing in the 16th place. From the third stage, he got $50 after finishing in the seventh place before getting another $20 in stage four after finishing in the 15th place.

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Ndayisenga celebrates win with his sister Xaverine Nirere, also a rider. / Faustin Niyigena

In stage five he finished in the 18th place taking $15 while in the last stage seven, he finished in the third place taking to bag $160. In total he walked home with a total sum of $4,455.

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Ndayisenga with his parents. / Faustin Niyigena

In the final stage, Kigali-Kigali (108km), Ndayisenga finished in third place behind Eritrean Tesfom Okubamariam, who used 2 hours, 43 minutes 21seconds, while Metkel came in second position with 2h43’21.”

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Phones of all types were brought out to capture the best moments of the race. / Faustin Niyigena
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Three best winners together with officials sing the national anthem yesterday. / Faustin Niyigena

Overall, Ndayisenga used a time of 21hours 15 minutes and 21 seconds while Metkel used 21h16’00’’ and Okubamariam, who claimed third place, used 21h16’51’’.

Last year’s first runner-up Joseph Areruya, riding for Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana, finished in the fourth place, having used 21h18’13’’.

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Riders arrive in Amajyambere Village in Remera yesterday. / Faustin Niyigena

Defending champion Jean-Bosco Nsengimana, riding for Germany-based Stradalli-Bike Aid finished in a disappointing 9th place using 21h20’24’’ a gap of five minutes and three seconds behind Ndayisenga.

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Riders climb in final race from RDB to Remera yesterday. / Faustin Niyigena

After winning the Tour, Ndayisenga said, “First and foremost I thank God for being with me throughout this competition, it was possible to lose it at any stage but it’s an incredible feeling that I have managed to keep the yellow jersey to the last day. This is unbelievable.”

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Riders in final race close to the stadium yesterday. / Faustin Niyigena

Last year, the record four-time Tour du Rwanda stage winners, could not defend his title after falling ill in stage five while he was in the second place in the general rankings behind Nsengimana, who went on to win the race.

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RwandAir officials award Ndayisenga (Rwanda – Dimension Data for Qhubeka) as the best African rider of the tour. / Faustin Niyigena

“Winning Tour du Rwanda is not something that can be done by anyone but it was my only target, especially with the disappointment of last year—winning the race is the best way to give back to the wonderful support that Rwandans have shown to cycling,” Ndayisenga noted.

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Samuel Mugisha, 18, of Benediction Club celebrates victory as best climber of the Tour du Rwanda 2016. / Faustin Niyigena

On top of winning the race, Ndayisenga also clinched the best young rider award, best African rider award and best Rwandan rider award.

Several people have congratulated Ndayisenga including President Paul Kagame who sent him a congratulatory message on Twitter. “Congratulations Valens Ndayisenga, winner of a thrilling Tour du Rwanda 2016. Thanks to all riders and Rwandans who came out to watch and cheer,” Kagame tweeted.

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Skol officials award Tesfom Okubamariam, Eritrean winner of the final stage yesterday. / Faustin Niyigena

Meanwhile, debutant Samuel Mugisha, riding for Rubavu-based Benediction Club, scooped the best climber award while Dimension Data For Qhubeka won the best team award.

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Stage winner and yellow jersey. / Faustin Niyigena

This year’s Tour du Rwanda had 74 riders in 15 teams but 18, including Rwandans Joseph Biziyaremye (Team Rwanda) and Mathieu Twizerane (Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana), failed to finish.

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