Tour du Rwanda 2019: Merhawi Kudus takes yellow jersey after Stage 2 victory

Kudus, who is making his second Tour du Rwanda appearance, made a sharp attack in the last kilometre and went on to win the 120.5km stage from Kigali to Huye District .
Astana Pro Team's Eritrean rider Marhawi Kudus celebrates his Stage 2 victory as he crossed the finish-line in Huye District on Monday afternoon. / Tour du Rwanda


Stage 2 – Top five
1. Merhawi Kudus (Astana) – 3:02:17
2. Kasperkiewicz Przmyslaw (Delko Marseille) – 3:02:19
3. Girmay Hailu Biniam (Eritrea) 3:02:19
4. Joseph Areruya (Delko Marseille) 3:02:19
5. Contreras Pinzon Rodrigo (Astana) – 3:02:19

General classification

Top 5
1. Merhawi Kudus – 5:43:49
2. Kasperkiewicz Przmyslaw – 5:43:51
3. Joseph Areruya – 5:43:51
4. Simon Guglielmi (France) – 5:43:51
5. Alessandro Fedeli – 5:43:51

The second day of this year’s Tour du Rwanda belonged to Astana Pro Team’s Merhawi Kudus as he rode his way into the yellow jersey with a magnificent Stage 2 victory in Huye.

Kudus, who is making his second Tour du Rwanda appearance following the 2012 debut, made a sharp attack in the last kilometre and went on to win the 120.5km stage from Kigali to Huye District, in Southern Province, in 3 hours, 2 minutes and 17 seconds.

The 25-year old, Stage 1 victor during the race’s 2012 edition, beat – by two seconds - a strong field of ten riders that included the 2017 winner Joseph Areruya (4th) and defending champion Samuel Mugisha who finished in ninth position.

Poland international Kasperkiewicz Przmyslaw, a teammate with Areruya at French side Delko Marseille, was the first runner-up, while Team Eritrea’s Girmay Hailu Biniam completed top three.

For his second time in a row, Areruya finished fourth after taking the same spot in Sunday’s opening stage, while Colombian – riding for Astana – finished in fifth position.

Delko Marseille’s Stage 1 winner Alessandro Fedeli has dropped to 5th position in general classification after he finished 12th in the second stage on Monday afternoon. Former Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana rider Areruya is third, while holder Mugisha is tenth.

Besides his yellow jersey as the new race leader, Kudus also put on the Skol jersey for his stage win, and the RwandAir jersey as the best African rider.

American Timothy Rugg, a two-time stage winner in Tour du Rwanda, scooped the SP jersey for best sprinter of the stage while Frenchman Perrig Quemenuer, riding for Direct Energie, took the Rwanda Tea jersey for most combative rider of the day.

The 2018 African Cyclist of the Year, Areruya, was double-decorated; first with the RDB jersey for best Rwandan rider and the Prime Insurance jersey as the best young rider in general classification.

Tomorrow, the 16-team peloton heads to Rubavu District, in Western Province, from Huye where the cyclists will ride the longest (213.1km) stage in Tour du Rwanda history.