Kigali – Huye (120.5km)
Rwamagana – Rwamagana (97.5km)
1. Azzedine Lagab (GSP Algerie) 02h12’21”
2. David Riba Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 02h12’21”
3. James Fourie (South Africa) 02h12’31”
4. Jonas Doring (Team Descartes Romandie) 02h12’31”
5. Valens Ndayisenga (POC Cote de Lumière) 02h12’33”
VALENS Ndayisenga is optimistic that along with his compatriots, they will rise to the top soon despite a fairly slow Tour du Rwanda 2018 start during Stage One yesterday in Rwamagana.
The two-time Tour du Rwanda champion who is in the race for a sixth time in a row, was the best Rwandan cyclist during the 97.5-kilometer circuit ride where he finished fifth, twelve seconds behind stage winner Azzedine Lagab who clocked 2 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds.
It was a third stage victory in Tour du Rwanda for the Algerian. He claimed two stages in 2013.
Five-time stage winner Ndayisenga who was the front-runner in five of the 15 laps they rode in Rwamagana town used 2 hours, 12 minutes and 33 seconds.
“Overall the race was good, but, definitely this is not how I wanted to finish the stage. I found myself in a breakaway, something that I normally never do, at times during the race you are obliged to do what you had not planned for,” a visibly unsatisfied Ndayisenga said.
“I later realized that this will not work out and decided to get back into the peloton so that I can save energy to attack in the final laps but unfortunately it didn’t work out either,” he added.
Despite a modest start for most of the home boys, the former Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider is convinced that starting with today’s second stage that heads to Huye from Kigali, Rwandans will do all they can to cut the gap and possibly secure the yellow jersey.
“It is alarming that top four in General Classification are all foreign riders, that exerts pressure on us but the difference is not big. The objective today is to narrow the gap to the top – and if possible, fight to get the yellow jersey,” he appealed to compatriots.
Ndayisenga, 24, also took the best climber, best combatant and best Rwandan rider awards while Jonas Doring, from Switzerland’s Team Descartes Romandie, was the stage’s best young rider.
Les Amis Sportifs rider Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo, 20, scooped the best sprinter award.
Action continues today with Stage 2
Meanwhile, Tour du Rwanda action continues today the action continues stage two, setting off from Kicukiro district in Kigali towards Huye town in South Province – a 120.5-kilometre race.
The stage has two sprint spots with the first at 41 kilometers and the second one at 65.2 kilometers, and four mountains totaling to 12.4 kilometres of distance.
The riders will meet the first mountain after 5.8 kilometers into the race and will last 1.8 kilometers and the winner will take three points before meeting the second one after 18.6 kilometers, which will last 3.9 kilometers, with 2 points up for grabs.
The third mountain is after 38.4 kilometers and lasts 5.1 kilometers, also awarding two points, while the last mountain (1.6 kilometres) is after 119.1 kilometers, with three points to vie for.