Heroes Cycling Cup: Habimana wins first senior race

Top five 

Elite men

1. Jean Eric Habimana – 3h03'59"
2. Shemu Nsengiyumva 
3h05'40" 
3. Eric Manizabayo
– 3h06'30" 
4. Patrick Byukusenge
– 03h06'54" 
5. Yves Nkurunziza
– 03h07'06" 

Women

1. Diane Ingabire – 2h22'17"
2. Valentine Nzayisenga
– 2h27'53"
3. Xaverine Nirere
– 02h30'58"
4. Olive Izerimana
– 02h33'06
5. Marthe Ntakirutimana
– 02h35'45"

JEAN Eric Habimana, Rwanda international and Skol Adrien Cycling Academy (SACA) youngster, has won his maiden senior race following a stunning performance at the inaugural Heroes Cup in Kigali on Sunday.

The 19-year old won the 108km circuit race in three hours, three minutes and 59 seconds, nearly two minutes ahead of Shemu Nsengiyumva (3:05:40) who finished second. Eric Manizabayo (3:06:30) completed the podium.

Habimana, who represented the country at the 2019 world road championships in Yorkshire – England, is the reigning national champion in men’s junior category. He is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional talents of his generation.

In the women’s category, Rwanda Cycling Cup holder Diane Ingabire (2:22:17) claimed the title of the 72km race, beating her nearest challenger and Benediction Club teammate Valentine Nzayisenga by over five minutes and a further three ahead of second runner-up Xaverine Nirere.

Eric Muhoza scooped the top prize in men’s junior category after clocking two hours, 55 minutes and 20 seconds to win the 96km distance ride. He finished just two seconds ahead of first runner-up Etienne Tuyizere and second runner-up Jean Bosco Niyonkuru.

To some hopefuls in the elite men’s category, the race also served as a buildup for the upcoming 2020 Tour du Rwanda that runs from February 23 through March 1 across the country.  

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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