Tour du Rwanda 2020: Restrepo not entertaining Yellow Jersey talk

Friday

Stage 6: Musanze – Muhanga (127.6km)

Thursday (Stage 5)

Top three
1. Valencia Restrepo (Giocattoli)
2:08:19
2. Romain Cardis (Direct Energie)
2:08:19
3. Natnael Tesfazion (Eritrea)
2:08:19

Rwandans
16. Moise Mugisha – 2:08:19
19. Seth Hakizimana – 2:08:19
25. Jean Claude Uwizeye – 2:08:26
27. Joseph Areruya – 2:08:26
29. Eric Manizabayo – 2:08:26
52. Bosco Nsengimana – 2:08:39
55. Samuel Mugisha – 2:08:39
56. Patrick Byukusenge – 2:09:03

General Classification

Top five
1. Natnael Tesfazion – 17:19:41
2. Moise Mugisha – 17:21:52
3. Main Kent – 17:23:03
4. Simone Ravanelli – 17:23:32
5. Joseph Areruya – 17:23:34
12. Valencia Restrepo – 17:25:15

Valencia Jhonatan Restrepo has shrugged off suggestions that he may climb up the ladder to the Yellow Jersey of the Tour du Rwanda 2020 as the race reaches crucial stage.

The Colombia international, riding for Italian side Androni Giocattoli, claimed his second victory in this year’s race on Thursday after outshining a host of riders in a sprint finish of the fifth stage that ended in Musanze, Northern Province, from Western Province’s Rubavu.

The 25-year old is the only rider with more than one stage victory, having also won Stage 3 on Tuesday.

In Thursday’s stunning photo finish, Restrepo beat to the line Frenchman Romain Cardis and Eritrean Natnael Tesfazion, who took second and third spots, respectively, at the end of a 84.6km ride.

The trio, along with 11 more riders who comprised the bunch, all used a shared time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 19 seconds.

“I am happy to win a second stage. And, I still have strength in my legs for more victories,” Restrepo told reporters after his Stage 5 win.

Asked about a possible pursuit for Yellow Jersey, Restrepo said: “It is still possible, but it is very difficult. I just want to keep working and focus on one stage at a time, and see how it goes at the end of the Tour. But, right now, the Yellow Jersey talk is a distraction.”

There was no Rwandan in the group with Moise Mugisha coming in 16th place, four seconds behind, a time that was also used by Skol Adrien Cycling Academy teammate Seth Hakizimana in 19th position.

Former winners of the annual race; Joseph Areruya, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Samuel Mugisha all struggled in the shortest stage of this year’s edition as they finished in disappointing 27th, 52nd and 55th place, respectively.

Patrick Byukusenge, who was caught by the peloton in the final 5 kilometres after leading the way alone for nearly 50 kilometres, was named as the most combative rider, with the best climber and best sprinter jerseys going to Carlos Oyarzun (Bai Sicasal) and Dawit Yemane (Eritrea), respectively.

With three stages to race, and five down, Tesfazion holds a healthy 2 minutes and 11 seconds lead ahead of second-placed Moise Mugisha. South African Kent Main completes the podium with 71 seconds further behind.

Friday’s Stage 6 will be 126.7km-long from Musanze to Muhanga, in Southern Province.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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