Final race; (Gatuna-Kigali)
Men: Top 5
1. Samuel Mugisha (Demission Data) 2h38’57”
2. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Benediction) 2h39’28’’
3. Fidele Dukuzumuremyi (Fly Cycling Club) 2h39’28’’
4. Rene Ukiniwabo (Les Amis Sportifs) 2h39’28’’
5. Janvier Rugamba (Les Amis Sportifs) 2h39’28’’
1. Ingabire Beatha 3h6’ 8’’
2. Xaverine Nirere 3h6’28’’
3. Magnifique Manizabayo 3h8’38’’
4. Diane Ishimwe 3h9’26’’
5. Samatha Mushimiyimana 3h9’26’’
1. Benediction Club
2. Cycling Club for All
3. Les Amis Sportifs
5. Muhazi Cycling Club
After winning Rwanda Cycling Cup 2017, Benediction Club de Rubavu rider, Patrick Byukusenge stated that his next focus is to realise his dream of riding for a professional team.
The 26-year-old Team Rwanda rider has been in impressive form since the start of the just-concluded season in which he won two Rwanda Cycling Cup races. He won Muhazi Challenge (eighth round) on September 23 and the tenth round, Rubavu-Musanze, on October 22.
Byukusenge said, “I am really happy to win Rwanda Cycling Cup this year but what I am looking for is to become a professional rider—that will be a blessing for me. It’s my dream.”
“I am looking forward to doing the best I possibly can next year. I know it will be very difficult but I am ready to challenge myself at the highest level,” the Rubavu-born cyclist told Times Sport.
Byukusenge collected 137 points from 11 Rwanda Cycling Cup races, followed by his teammate Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who finished the season with 110 points; Mathieu Twizerane of Cycling Club for All, who came in third with 97 points, while Jean Claude Uwizeye completed the top four with 93 points.
Two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga finished 16th with 37 points.
Byukusenge added that, “This is another big step in my career to be at the top of Rwanda Cycling Cup but it is also a challenge to work even harder for the future.”
“This shows that I am progressing well and heading in the right direction. I am sure I will become even better rider this is just the start for me and I intend to make the best of it.”
Byukusenge didn’t come in the top 15 in the final race of the season on Saturday (Gatuna-Kigali), which was won by Samuel Mugisha, who rides for South Africa-based UCI Continental Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
The 19-year-old covered the 108.4km in 2:38:57. Mugisha also won the race to prepare Tour du Rwanda, from Nyanza to Rubavu, on October 21.
Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Benediction Club), Fidele Dukuzumuremyi (Fly Cycling Club), Rene Ukiniwabo (Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana) and Janvier Rugamba (Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana) came in second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively with 2hrs, 39 minutes and 28 seconds.
Benediction Club youngster, Yves Nkurunziza, 17, won the juniors’ category, while the women’s race was won by Beatha Ingabire (3h6’ 8’’) Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana, whose teammate Xaverine Nirere claimed the overall trophy.
Another big name that competed in the final race, from Gatuna to Kigali with one lap in Kigali included; Tour du Rwanda reigning champion Areruya Joseph of Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Others were 2014 and Tour du Rwanda winner Ndayisenga as well as 2015 Tour du Rwanda champion, Jean Bosco Nsengimana.
Meanwhile, the race saw the return to competitive cycling of the 2015 All Africa Games road race gold medalist and former Team Rwanda captain Hadi Janvier after spending one year in retirement.
Rwanda Cycling Cup race winners:
1. Apr, 1 (Memorial Lambert Byemayire), Kigali – Huye: Jean Bosco Nsengimana
2. May, 6 (Farmers’ Circuit), Kigali – Nyagatare: Jean Claude Uwizeye
3. May, 20 (Race to Remember), Ruhango – Karongi: Bonaventure Uwizeyimana
4. June, 24 (National Championships ITT), Nyamata: Adrien Niyonshuti
5. June, 25 (National Championships Road Race), Ngoma – Kigali: Gasore Hategeka
6. July, 22 (Race for Culture), Nyamagabe – Nyanza: Valens Ndayisenga
7. Aug, 19 (Central Challenge), Nyamata – Muhanga: Mathieu Twizerane
8. Sep, 23 (Muhazi Challenge): Patrick Byukusenge
9. Oct, 21 (Nyanza – Rubavu): Samuel Mugisha
10. Oct, 22 (Rubavu – Musanze): Patrick Byukusenge
11. Dec, 30 (Gatuna – Kigali): Samuel Mugisha