Stage 1 (Top 5)
1. Alessandro Fedeli (Delko Marseille) – 2:41:32
2. Debesay Yakob (Eritrea) – 2:41:32
3. Kasperkiewics Przemyslaw (Delko Marseille) – 2:41:34
4. Joseph Areruya (Delko Marseille) – 2:41:34
5. Salim Kipkemboi (Kenya) – 2:41:34
Alessandro Fedeli of Delko Marseille timed his sprint to perfection as he edged Eritrea’s Debesay Yakob to take Stage 1 of the 2019 Tour du Rwanda on Sunday.
It was a stunning Tour du Rwanda start for the French side as three of their five riders, including Rwanda’s Joseph Areruya who finished fourth, dominated the top five pack.
Italian sprinter Fedeli clocked 2 hours, 41 minutes and 32 seconds to cover the to-and-forth 112.5km parcours from Kigali and Rwamagana town before wrapping up the stage with one lap in Kicukiro District.
The 22-year old, who turned international in 2015, was also the best young rider of the day.
Fresh from winning the second edition of Tour de l’Espoir earlier this month in Cameroun, Eritrean Debesay, who was edged on the cross-line by Fedeli, finished second with the same time.
Polish Kasperkiewics Przemyslaw, also riding for Delko Marseille, completed top three, while Areruya and Kenyan Salim Kipkemboi finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The trio finished two seconds behind Fedeli and first runner-up Yakob.
Africa’s Cyclist of the Year 2018, Areruya, scooped the jersey for the best Rwandan rider, Moise Mugisha was the most combative rider while compatriot Bonaventure Uwizeyimana took jersey for the best sprinter.
— Tour du Rwanda?? (@Tour_du_Rwanda) February 24, 2019
Mugisha, 21, was part of the leading breakaway from early in the stage, and made a solo escape within fifteen kilometers to the finish before he was overwhelmed and overtaken by the chasing group in the last three kilometers.
Riding for Team Rwanda, the 21-year old finished in the 64th position, 2 minutes and 11 seconds behind the stage winner.
Two-time Tour du Rwanda winner Valens Ndayisenga (2:41:38) finished in 10th place, defending champion Samuel Mugisha (2:41:38) settled for 14th, while the 2015 winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana (2:42:45) was in the 53rd position.
Tomorrow represents the first major day in the general classification battle, as the riders race 120.3km from Kigali to Huye District.
This year, a record number of 25 countries are represented in Tour du Rwanda.