Stage 3: Rubavu-Musanze 95km+ 1 massive categorized climb
Stage two results – 180km
1. Simon Pellaud (Swiss) 4:32:30
2. Matthieu Jeannes (Fra) +1:30
3. Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) +1:31
4. Suleiman Kangani (Ken) ”
5. Metkel Eyob (Eri) ”
6. Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) +1:33
7. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) ”
8. Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) ”
9. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) +2:33
10. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) +2:46
1. Simon Pellaud (Swiss) 7:50:22
2. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) +1:00
3. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) +1:17
4. Suleiman Kangani (Ken) +1:22
5. Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) +1:25
6. Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) +1:29
7. Matthieu Jeannes (Fra) +1:30
8. Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) ”
9. Metkel Eyob (Eri) +1:39
10. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) +2:15
Debutant Simon Pellaud, riding for American UCI Continental Team Illuminate, dominated the second stage of this year’s Tour du Rwanda from Nyanza-Rubavu after clocking 4 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds.
The 180km stage featured six categorised climbs and reached 2,500m above sea level – no small task for the peloton.
The 25-year-old former U23 Swiss national champion finished ahead of Frenchman Jeannes Matthieu, who rides for Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes, in second place, while stage one (Kigali-Huye) winner, Rwandan Joseph Areruya of Dimension Data for Qhubeka of South Africa finished in 10th place.
Areruya clocked 4 hours, 34 minutes and 16 seconds to drop to second place in general classification, 1 minute and 22 seconds behind Pellaud, who was the third different rider to win a stage after three days. Team Rwanda captain Jean Bosco Nsengimana won the Prologue on Sunday but finished 9th yesterday.
In a stage which no Rwandan rider has won since Tour du Rwanda became an international race in 2009, Pellaud was in the leading peloton in Nyanza, Muhanga, Ngororero, and Musanze before breaking away at Mukamira and never looked back.
“I was very motivated to start well, and winning today’s stage gives us even more confidence that we can go on to win the title, right now I feel good and in top condition to push on in the remaining five stages,” Pellaud said.
Team Rwanda rider Didier Munyaneza finished in third position with 4 hours, 34 minutes and 1 second, followed by Kenyan Suleiman Kangangi, who rides for Team Bike Aid (4h34’01”) while Eyob Mektel of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka completed the top five in 4h34’02”.
Two-time winner and reigning champion Valens Ndayisenga, riding for Austria-based UCI Continental Team Tirol Cycling, was 7th in stage two, finishing 1 minute and 33 seconds behind the winner, to drop to third overall with 7h51’39”.
Bike Aid’s Kangangi, who continues to surprise many, is in fourth position in general classification after using 7 hours, 51 minutes and 44 seconds while Team Rwanda rider Patrick Byukusenge, who was 8th on Monday, is fifth with 7hrs, 51 minutes and 47 seconds.
After losing the race leader’s yellow jersey, Areruya admitted that, “I don’t know if that can be enough but I’m still in good position.”
So far three riders have pulled out of the race, they include; Patrick Gamper of Tirol Cycling Team, Easter Griffin, who rides for Team Illuminate and Fortan Adrian of Dukla Banska Bystrica cycling team from Slovakia.
Stage 3 on Wednesday, will see riders compete from Rubavu-Musanze covering a distance of 95km+circuit of four laps.