Mugisha is Tour du Rwanda champion

Mugisha becomes the fourth Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda in five consecutive years since Valens Ndayisenga in 2014.
20-year-old Rwandan rider Samuel Mugisha celebrates on crossing the finish line outside Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo yesterday to win his first Tour du Rwanda title, becoming the fourth Rwandan to win the annual race in five consecutive years. Mugisha plies his trade with the Italy-based South African UCI Continental Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, but was a Team Rwanda rider in this year’s Tour du Rwanda edition, which he won after covering 953.2km in 24 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds. Yesterday marked the last time the UCI Africa Tour race has been staged as a 2.2 category following its upgrade to a 2.1 category. Sam Ngendahimana.

Sunday

Stage 8: Kigali-Kigali 82.2km

1.  Azzedine Lagab (GSP Algérie) 02h06’20”
2. David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 02h06’20”
3. Didier Munyaneza (Team Rwanda) 02h06’20”
4. Moïse Mugisha (Les Amis Sportifs) 02h06’20”
5. Simon Bellabouvier (Team Haute Savoie Rhône-Alpes) 02h06’20”

General Classification

1.  Samuel Mugisha (Team Rwanda) 24h26’53”
2. Jean-Cluade Uwizeye (POC Côte Lumière) 24h27’14”
3. Mulu Hailemicheal (Ethiopia) 24h27’57”
4. Azzedine Lagab (GSP Algérie) 24h28’13”
5. David Riba Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 24h28’20”

At 20 year old rider Samuel Mugisha becomes the fourth Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda

Samuel Mugisha, aged 20 years and 250 days, wrote his name into history books yesterday becoming the youngest rider ever to win the annual Tour du Rwanda.

The Team Rwanda rider, who was racing in his third Tour du Rwanda – a UCI Africa Tour – since his heroic debut performance in 2016, was crowned the champion for the 10th edition that concluded with an eighth and final stage in the capital Kigali.

Mugisha, who plies his trade with the Italy-based South African UCI Continental Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, becomes the fourth Rwandan to win Tour du Rwanda in five consecutive years since Valens Ndayisenga in 2014.

The former Club Benediction’s rider won this year’s edition – the last time Tour du Rwanda has been staged as a 2.2 category following its upgrade to a 2.1 category –   covering 953.2km in 24 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds.

The 2016 Tour du Rwanda King of the Mountains rider beat his closest rival and compatriot Jean-Claude Uwizeye by 21 seconds with the latter posting 24h27’14” while Ethiopian debutant Mulu Hailemicheal finished in third place clocking 25h27’57”, one minute and four seconds of the pace.

“I am overwhelmed with joy, I don’t know how I can describe this moment,” said Mugisha, who was riding for Team Rwanda in the week-long race as his club did not participate in this year’s edition.

 “Thanks to everyone who has been behind us since day one, I had a good team in Team Rwanda, they worked for my win tirelessly,” added the youngster.

Tour du Rwanda 2018 champion Samuel Mugisha celebrates his crucial win as he crosses the finish line at Nyamirambo (Sam Ngendahimana)

He also pointed to good races he undertook in Europe prior to this year’s Tour du Rwanda. “I had good races in Italy with Dimension Data and I think it helped me so much in Tour du Rwanda.”

Mugisha entered this year’s tour three weeks after scooping the King of the Mountains jersey at the 55th edition of Giro della Valle d’Aosta race in Italy.

“This is a motivation in my career, I want to forget this feat from today and start working harder for the future because I am yet to reach my dream,” he noted.

Algerian veteran rider Azzedine Lagab won the final 82.2km stage around Kigali beating a field of four riders in a sprint photo finish all posting 02h06’20”.

Besides coming on top of the General Classification, Mugisha also won in three other categories, scooping the best young rider, best African rider and best Rwandan rider awards.

Timothy Rugg of Germany’s Team Embrace the World was the Tour’s most aggressive rider, while Ethiopian Mulu Hailemicheal was named the King of the Mountains, with Bruno Araujo, from Angola’s Bai-Sicasal-Petro de Luanda, winning the best intermediate sprint award.

Uwizeye and Ndayisenga’s POC Cote Lumiere of France was named the Tour’s overall best team.

For Tour du Rwanda, Mugisha walked away with US$2,000 plus US$700 for his stage two win, US$300 for being the best young rider of the race, US$300 for emerging the best African in the competition, and US$300 for finishing as the best Rwandan.

Meanwhile, the next edition of Tour du Rwanda that will be staged under the 2.1 category from February 24 through March 3 next year.

Tour du Rwanda 2018 riders climb Mur de Kigali  during the race

Awards List.

Overall winner: Samuel Mugisha awarded by MINISPOC

Best team: POC Côte Lumière awarded by Inyange industries ltd

Best Rwandan rider: Samuel Mugisha awarded by Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

Best African: Samuel Mugisha awarded by Rwandair

Most Aggressive rider: Timothy Rugg (Team Embrace the World) awarded by Rwanda tea

Best young rider: Samuel Mugisha awarded by Prime Insurance ltd

Best intermediate sprinter: Bruno Araujo (Bai-Sicasal-Petro de Luanda) awarded by SP Petrol Station

King of the Mountains: Mulu Hailemicheal (Ethiopia) awarded by Cogebaque

 

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