Areruya wins stage three but Pellaud retains yellow jersey

Rwanda's Joseph Areruya, riding for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka won stage three of Tour du Rwanda 2017 from Rubavu to Musanze, 95km, in a photo-finish on Wednesday after clocking 2 hours, 23 minutes and 25 seconds.
Dimension Data rider Joseph Areruya celebrates his victory yesterday. / Sam Ngendahimana
Dimension Data rider Joseph Areruya celebrates his victory yesterday. / Sam Ngendahimana

Today

Stage 4: Musanze-Nyamata 121km+ 4 categorized climbs
Stage 3: Top Five
1. Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) 2h23’25”
2. Edwin Avila Venegas (Team Illuminate) 2h23’25”
3. Rene Ukiniwabo (Team Rwanda) 2h23’25”
4. Simon Pellaud (Team Illuminate) 2h23’25”
5. Eyob Mektel (Dimension Data) 2h23’25”

General Classification
1. Simon Pellaud (Team Illuminate) 10h13’47”
2. Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) 10h14’47”
3. Valens Ndayisenga (Tirol Cycling) 10h15’4”
4. Suleiman Kangangi (Bike Aid) 10h15’8”
5. Patrick Byukusenge (Team Rwanda) 10h15’12”
 
Rwanda's Joseph Areruya, riding for South Africa’s Dimension Data for Qhubeka won stage three of Tour du Rwanda 2017 from Rubavu to Musanze, 95km, in a photo-finish on Wednesday after clocking 2 hours, 23 minutes and 25 seconds.

Team Illuminate’s Simon Pellaud, with the yellow jersey, finished fourth after using the same time as Areruya and all the riders in the top five. Edwin Avila Venegas of Team Illuminate finished in the second place followed by Team Rwanda’s Rene Ukiniwabo in third place.  Areruya’s teammate, Eyob Mektel completed the top five.

Areruya also won stage one, Kigali-Huye, on Monday but could only manage a 10th place finish in the second stage Nyanza-Rubavu, 180km, which was won by Pellaud, who retains the yellow jersey.

1510788148South-African-rider-Edward-Green--riding--for-Lowest-Rates-wins-the-title-to-be-the-best-climber-of-the-stage
South African rider Edward Green riding for Lowest Rates wins the title to be the best climber of the stage.

The Swiss rider has a one-minute lead going into Thursday’s stage four, Musanze-Nyamata (121km+ 4 categorised climbs). Areruya remains in the second place in the general classification.

Areruya, looking to win his first Tour du Rwanda title, having finished fourth last year, said after the stage win, “ I knew I had a chance to get a good performance especially in the last kilometers like I did in stage one.”

1510788347COGEBANK-is-the-main-sponsor-of-Tour-du-Rwanda-2017
Cogebanque is the main sponsor of Tour du Rwanda 2017.

The young Rwandan rider, aged 21, seems to be living up to the expectations since his Tour du Rwanda debut in 2015 when he finished second in the final classification and fourth in 2016.

After last year’s performance, he and compatriot Samuel Mugisha were signed by the South Africa-based UCI Continental Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.

Areruya also won a stage at this year’s Giro d’Italia U23 race, one of the biggest international races.

1510788507A-large-number-of-cycling-supporters-was-in-Rubavu-before-starting-the-race
A large number of cycling supporters was in Rubavu before starting the race.
1510788238Cycling-supporters-were-waiting-for-the-race
Cycling supporters were waiting for the race. From Rubavu to Musanze many people were seen nearby the road today.

After retaining the yellow jersey, Pellaud said: “I know that it will be difficult for me to keep it because Rwandans will want to return to power. But I’m already very happy to remain on top of the general classification.”

On top of winning the stage, Areruya was also best African rider and best Rwandan rider, while best climber was Edward Greene of South Africa national team and Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Stephan De Bod was best combative.

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