Stage 2: Franceville – Okondja (170km)
Team Rwanda had little to smile about in Stage 1 of the ongoing 14th La Tropicale Amissa Bongo on Monday as Italian Niccolo Bonifazio sprinted to victory.
Riding for French side Direct Energie, Bonifazio covered the 100km in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 13 seconds, two seconds ahead of first runner-up Sirak Tesfom of Eritrea. Team Rwanda’s Didier Munyaneza finished three seconds behind the stage winner to take third position.
Youngster Munyaneza, 21, also scooped the jersey for the best young rider of the day.
The rest of Team Rwanda members; Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (15), Jean Claude Uwizeye (21), Joseph Areruya (26), Yves Nkurunziza (33) and Samuel Mugisha (38) were part of a 38-rider bunch – from 6th to 43rd – that finished 10 seconds behind Bonifazio.
The week-long race continues Tuesday with Stage 2 – the longest stage this year – where riders set off from Franceville and ride a 170km distance before crossing the finish-line in Okondja.