As a reward for his historic triumph at the 13th La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, which concluded on Sunday in Gabonese capital Libreville, Team Rwanda’s Joseph Areruya, got Rwf12.7 million.
The 21-year-old also got US$1800 (about Rwf1.5m) for winning Tour du Rwanda 2017.
The Dimension Data for Qhubekha rider finished 41st in the opening stage, 78th in stage two while in the third stage, he came in 22nd position, but he did not earn any prize money because the prizes went to top 20 riders at every stage.
But Areruya’s fortunes changed for the better when he did not only win the fourth stage but also took the yellow jersey and collected CFA Franc 1,000,000 (about Rwf1.6m).
He went on to earn CFA Franc 130,000 (about Rwf0.27m) for finishing eighth in fifth stage and in the sixth stage, he finished in third place and got CFA Franc 500,000 (approximately Rwf0.8m), while in last stage, he finished in 24th place where he did not earn anything.
In total, Areruya earned Rwf4.73m in the seven stages. However, the Rwandan rider received CFA Franc 5m (about Rwf7.97m) for topping the general classification. He is the first cyclist to hold both La Tropicale Amissa Bongo and Tour du Rwanda crowns concurrently.
Team Rwanda, for finishing in 9th place at the week-long race, got CFA Franc 550,000, which is about Rwf0.9m.
Rwamagana-born is the first Rwandan and third African cyclist to win the UCI 2.1 category race after Eritrean Natnael Berhane in 2014 and Tunisia’s Rafaâ Chtioui in 2015.
Areruya claimed Africa’s highly-rated cycling event in Gabonese capital, Libreville, a month after being named the second African best cyclist of the year, 2017, losing the crown to South Africa’s Louis Meintjes.
Last November, Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider became the third Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda, the annual UCI-Africa, category 2.2 road race since it became part of UCI-Africa Tour in 2009, after Valens Ndayisenga, (2014 and 2016) and Jean Bosco Nsengimana, in 2015.
In Gabon, Team Rwanda under coach Felix Sempoma, was represented by six riders, namely; Didier Munyaneza, Jean Damascene Ruberwa and Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, Valens Ndayisenga and Areruya. Ndayisenga and Uwizeyimana crashed out of the race in stage 5.