Habimana, Nirere strike gold as Rwanda dominates Francophonie Youth Race

Xaverine Nirere celebrates after crossing the finish-line to strike the gold medal in girls' category on Sunday. Sam Ngendahimana

Boys (55km)

1. Jean Eric Habimana 1h38'29''
2. Eric Muhoza 1h39'09"
3. Jean Baptiste Nsabimana 1h39'09"

Girls (36km)

1. Xaverine Nirere 1h13'28"
2. Diane Ishimwe 1h14'51"
3. Violette Irakoze Neza 1h17'25"

JEAN Eric Habimana and Xaverine Nirere scooped gold medals on Sunday as the hosts – Rwanda – dominated the inaugural La Francophonie Youth Cycling Race in Kigali.

Rwandans occupied all the podium positions in boys and girls’ categories. The one-day event also attracted riders from; Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and DR Congo.

The race has a total of 59 youngsters, 39 boys and 19 girls.

Habimana, 17, who is the reigning national champion in junior category, used 1 hour, 39 minutes and 9 seconds to claim the boys’ 55km circuit race in Kimihurura, while Nirere, also 17, clocked 1 hour, 13 minutes and 28 seconds to win the girls’ 36km race.

Meanwhile, Team Rwanda’s Bonaventure Uwizeye is in sixth position – 12 seconds off the leader – on the general classification after two stages at the ongoing Tour du Cameroun 2019.

The 26-year old is the race’s defending champion, and goes into Stage 3 (Yaoundé – Ebolowa: 151.4km) on Monday looking to cut the gap to the top or take over the leadership baton.


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