2017 Giro d’Italia Under-23
Stage five: Osima-Senigallia 87.2km
1. Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) 2h:00’:52”
2. Nikolai Cherkasov (Gazprom-Rusvelo U23) 2h:00’:54”
3. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton Scott) 2h:00’:55”
4. John Anderson Rodriguez (Nazionale Colombiana) 2h:00’:55”
5. Mark Padun (Colpack) 2h:00’:58”
Team Rwanda’s most promising cyclist Joseph Areruya made history after becoming the first Rwandan to win a stage at a European UCI race, yesterday.
The rider for South Africa’s UCI Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka clinched stage five of the ongoing 40th edition of Giro d’Italia Under 23 race.
The former Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana rider sealed a memorable debut at the prestigious and rigorous event along with his compatriot Samuel Mugisha to become the first Rwandan riders to compete in the competition.
Although the trio of Adrien Niyonshuti (now in the World Tour team), Valens Ndayisenga and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana passed through this team, they did not compete at this level.
Areruya covered the 87.2km race in 2 hours and 52 seconds beating his closest contestant Nikolai Cherkasov from Russia’s Gazprom-Rusvelo U23 by two seconds while Robert Stannard from Mitchelton Scott finished third in 2h:00’:55.”
Speaking to Italy’s TUTTOBICIWEB, Areruya revealed; “I’m really happy, I did just my duty. I thank God and the team and dedicate to my mother what is my first victory in Europe.”
This was Areruya’s second accolade at the prestigious one-week event after winning the King of the Mountains award on stage one that took place on June 9.
The duo of Areruya and Mugisha have been nurtured by Team Rwanda head coach Sterling Magnell and hit the international stage in 2016 as part of the historic UK Tour where they took part in the UK’s Motorpoint national series as well as an invitation into the Ride London Classic (a UCI 1.HC race) against the world’s best riders, including Chris Froome.
Their performance in the 2016 Tour du Rwanda, with Areruya coming in 4th overall and Mugisha winning the King of the Mountains jersey, sealed the deal and they were signed by the Team Dimension Data U23 Continental squad.
Talking about the historic win, Sterling Magnell noted that; “I’m immensely proud of him. I’m proud of the young man he has become. We invested everything in these boys who were willing to do the work and develop character and be proud of themselves, their team and their country at all costs.”
“Joseph always worked the hardest, he has led by example and the young riders performing tests and getting started can see what it looks like to become a professional with character and represent your country well.”
The Giro d’Italia U23 began on Friday June 9, and will end on June 15. The race has seven stages and features 174 cyclists from 29 professional teams from across Europe.