Elite Men, top three
1. Patrick Byukusenge - 4:39:05
2. Jean Bosco Nsengimana - 4:39:05
3. Didier Munyaneza - 4:39:05
Women, top three
1. Xaverine Nirere - 2:53:30
2. Magnifique Manizabayo - 2:55:40
3. Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu - 2:56:52
1. Yves Nkurunziza - 2:24:27
2. Jean Eric Habimana - 2:25:00
3. Eric Manizabayo - 2:27:16
After winning Muhazi Challenge race on Saturday in Rwamagana district, Benediction Cycling Club rider, Patrick Byukusenge has now shifted focus to preparations for this year’s Tour du Rwanda.
The 25-year-old will be making his fifth consecutive appearance in the annual 2.2 UCI category race this November, since his debut in 2013. His best performance to date came in 2014 when he finished third behind champion Valens Ndayisenga and first runner-up, Joseph Areruya.
The Rubavu-based Byukusenga claimed 175km Muhazi Challenge, the 8th round of this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup, after using 4 hours, 39 minutes and 5 seconds. A total 44 riders started the race, but only three completed, all riding for Benediction Cycling Club.
Byukusenga finished ahead of teammates; Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Didier Munyaneza, who also used the same time.
In a post-race interview with Times Sport, the visibly excited Byukusenge attributed the win to sheer determination and teamwork.
“This is a great day for me and my club, this victory is a result of hard work and teamwork. My teammates (Nsengimana and Munyaneza) helped me a lot,” he stated.
Byukusenge last won a race in Rwanda Cycling Cup in May 2016 when he claimed the Race to Remember from Bugesera to Kigali.
He added, “With less than two months before Tour du Rwanda, this victory is good preparation. I am really excited to get my first win of the year but the ultimate target is Tour du Rwanda. The main goal is to keep the title here (Rwanda).”
At this year’s Tour du Rwanda, the 9th edition since turning international in 2009, Rwanda will be represented by three five-man teams, a select national team and two cycling clubs namely; Rwamagana-based Les Amis Sportifs and Benediction Cycling Club of Rubavu.
Muhazi Challenge race attracted 75 riders, including 44 in the Elite Men & U23 category (175km), 22 in Junior men and nine in women categories respectively.
Les Amis Sportifs’ Xaverine Nirere won the women’s 91km race while Yves Nkurunziza claimed the junior men’s race.
Byukusenge is the eighth different rider to win a race in the 2017 Rwanda Cycling Cup, which means no rider has won two races so far this year.
Jean Bosco Nsengimana won the first race of the season, the Memorial Lambert Byemayire; Uwizeye took the Farmers’ Circuit, Adrien Niyonshuti won the National Championship – Individual Time Trial while Gasore Hategeka won the National Road Championship.
Jean Claude Uwizeyimana claimed the Race to Remember, Valens Ndayisenga scooped Race for Culture whereas Cycling Club for All’s Mathieu Twizerane stunned a strong field to win the Central Challenge early this month.
Valens Ndayisenga's sister Xaverine Nirere won the race in Women categoryFollow https://twitter.com/bishumba