Uwizeyimana claims stage five as Areruya keeps yellow jersey

Bonavanture Uwizeyimana gave the Rubavu-based Benediction Club their first stage win of Tour du Rwanda 2017 when the 24-year old claimed stage five that started from Nyamata and concluded in Rwamagana, covering a distance of 93,1km in 2 hour, 16 minutes and 28 seconds.
Benediction Club de Rubavu rider Bonaventure  Uwizeyimana celebrates his historic victory as he wins Stage 5 of Tour du Rwanda 2017, Nyamata-Rwamagana on Friday. Sam Ngendahimana.
Benediction Club de Rubavu rider Bonaventure Uwizeyimana celebrates his historic victory as he wins Stage 5 of Tour du Rwanda 2017, Nyamata-Rwamagana on Friday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Today

Stage 6: Kayonza-Kigali 86.3km+ 4 categorized climbs (including the infamous “Mur de Kigali”)

Stage five
1. Bonavanture Uwizeyimana (Benediction Club) 2h16’28’’
2. Hamza Yassin (Algeria) 2h16’30’’
3. Edwin Avilla Venegas (Team Illuminate) 2h16’30’’
4. Aron Debretsion (Eritrea) 2h16’30’’
5. Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) 2h16’30’’
General Classification
1. Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) 15h24’11’’
2. Eyob Metkel (Dimension Data) 15h24’49’’
3. Suleiman Kangangi (Bike Aid) 15h25’27’’
4. Simon Pellaud (Team Illuminate) 15h25’44’’
5. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Benediction Club) 15h26’11’’
6. Patrick Byukusenge (Benediction Club) 15h26’55’’
7. Valens Ndayisenga (Tirol Cycling Team) 15h27’05’

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The president of the jury leads the riders before flag off in Nyamata town

Bonavanture Uwizeyimana gave the Rubavu-based Benediction Club their first stage win of Tour du Rwanda 2017 when the 24-year old claimed stage five that started from Nyamata and concluded in Rwamagana, covering a distance of 93,1km in 2 hour, 16 minutes and 28 seconds.

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Benediction Club cyclist Bonaventure Uwizeyimana lifts the trophy after winning Stage 5 of Tour du Rwanda.

Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Rwandan rider, Joseph Areruya keeps the yellow jersey after finishing sixth in 2h16’30’’, less than half a second behind his compatriot.

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Rwandan rider Areruya was awarded best African rider of the stage

Hamza Yassin of Algerian National Team came in second place, Edwin Avilla Venegas (Team Illuminate) and Aron Debretsion (Eritrea) took third and fourth places, respectively while Team Rwanda’s Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo completed the top five, all using the same time as Areruya.

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The Eritrea National Team rider shows his severe wound he got in an accident during Stage 3 (Rubavu-Musanze)

In the General Classification, Areruya still holds a 38 seconds advantage over his Dimension Data teammate, Eyob Mektel.

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Tour of Rwanda has emerged one of the most popular sporting events in the country. Thousands line up the streets to watch the riders.

The 21-year old Areruya tops the standings having used 15 hours, 24 minutes and 11 seconds, while Suleiman Kangangi of Germany-based UCI Continental Team Bike Aid, is on third (15h25’27”).

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Bike Aid riders Van Engelen and Holler led the break away from Bugesera to Rwamagana

Team Illuminate’s Simon Pellaud, winner of stage two, remains in fourth place having clocked 15hrs, 25 minutes and 44 seconds while Team Rwanda captain Jean Bosco Nsengimana is fifth with a total of 15hrs, 26 minutes and 11 seconds.

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It is reported that 8 riders have abandoned the race due to different reasons

Two-time winner and reigning champion, Valens Ndayisenga, riding for Austria’s UCI Continental team, Tirol Cycling Team remains stuck on 7th position, 2’54” behind the leader.

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The rain was a minor stumbling block for the riders but the race did not stop

Team Rwanda rider, Patrick Byukusenge, is in sixth place with 15hrs, 27 minutes and 5 seconds.

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Riders line on pedestrian side path to avoid the stone-paved road as they climb towards Kisimenti

Areruya had promised his supporters that he would fight to keep his yellow jersey that he lost last Tuesday in the 2nd stage against Swiss rider Pellaud.

“It is time to work hard and we are in good position to win the race but we need to be ready for the last two stages. I am thankful for my teammates who have been helping me to regain top position,” Areruya said after retaining the leader’s yellow jersey in-front of his adoring home fans in Rwamagana.

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For the first time the race passed through Special Economic Zone on the way to Rwamagana

It is in Rwamagana that he started his carreer with Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana cycling team.

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It has become norm for thousands of spectators to stradle roads waiting for the riders

Out of the 64 riders that started stage five, only two, Yannick Lincoln (Mauritius National Team) and Ndayisenga’s Tirol Cycling Team teammate, Moran Vermeulen, did not finish.

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Ruberwa and Stage winner Uwizeyimana shout out as they celebrate the victory

In the sixth stage on Saturday, which is the penultimate stage, riders will peddle from Kayonza-Kigali 86.3km+ 4 categorized climbs (including the infamous “Mur de Kigali”) finishing at Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.

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South African Edward Green riding for Lowest Rates emerged the best mountain climber for Stage 5

Meanwhile, stage four winner, Metkel Eyob, claimed his 4th stage on the Tour of Rwanda since 2013, which places him in the lead of the greatest number of stage success tied with Ndayisenga, Mekseb Debesay and Kiel Riejnen.

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The peloton cross the Nyabarongo bridge that separates Bugesera and Kicukiro districts
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The peloton roll at Masoro
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Three women captured at Kabuga ka Musha taking pictures of the race
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Yellow jersey holder Areruya seen here protected by his teammates when the peloton reached Gahanga approaching Kigali

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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