As Rwanda finish a distant 9th
African continental road cycling championship
Team Time Trial (men)
1) Eritrea 54:12:00
2) South Africa 56: 31:00
3) Ethiopia 57:20:00
4) Algeria 57:26:00
5) Namibia 57:56:00
9) Rwanda 01:02:00
15) Uganda 01:08:00
ERITREA got their African continental road cycling championship campaign off to a flier after winning yesterday’s opening session; team time trial session.
Daniel Teklehaimanot, Meron Russom, Tesfai and team captain Frekaisi Debesai led the team’s assault to finish the 40km race in 54 minutes and 12 seconds.
Favourites South Africa (56:31:00) and Ethiopia (57:20:00) finished second and third while Team Rwanda had a rough outing as they struggled to eventually finish 9th.
The hosts used one hour and two minutes, a whole six minutes and 10 seconds off the pace.
Despite winning the session, Eritrea captain Debesai conceded that it was a very demanding race. “It was very hot out there. We are not used to such high humidity but we are glad we pulled through,”
Team Rwanda was represented by four-time Tour of Rwanda champion Abraham Ruhumuriza, Gasore Hategeka, Nicodem Habiyambere and Innocent Uwamungu.
Coach Jonathan Boyer explained that leaving out Rwanda’s top cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti was a tactical move.
“We wanted Niyonshuti to conserve his energy for the individual time trial races on Friday and Sunday, since they are the determinants of who gets to represents Africa at the 2012 Olympics Games in London,” the American explained.
Last year, Niyonshuti finished 3rd but has to finish inside the top two to secure a ticket to the London Games.