Youngster Munyaneza wins cycling championship

Sunday

Road race: Kigali-Kigali

Men’s elites & U23: 12 laps – 150km

1. Didier Munyaneza – 3h55’12”

2. Mathieu Twizerane – 3h55’14”

3. Gasore Hategeka – 3h57’12”

Juniors’ men: 8 laps – 100km

1. Jean Eric Habimana – 2h47’41”

2. Bernabe Gahemba – 2h47’51”

3. Renus Byiza Uhiriwe – 2h48’02”

Women: 6 laps – 75km

1. Xaverine Nirere – 2h24’18”

2. Valentine Nzayisenga – 2h24’24”

3. Beatha Ingabire – 2h24’36”

DIDIER Munyaneza, Rwanda’s fast-rising youngster yet again defied the odds to out-compete a field of strong and experienced riders as he claimed this year’s national race championship on Sunday afternoon in Kigali.

The 20-year old Club Benediction rider was a minnow before the start of the race with odds favoring reigning Tour du Rwanda and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo champion Joseph Areruya who had won the Individual Time Trial title on Saturday in Nyamata.

The reigning Tour du Cameroun champion Bonaventure Uwizeyimana and the 2017 national road race champion, Gasore Hategeka, were the other two pre-race favorites.

Nonetheless, the celebrated youngster who won Rwanda Cycling Cup’s first race this year, Memorial Lambert Byemayire in March, claimed the 150km race in 3 hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, two seconds ahead of Cycling Club for All (CCA) rider Mathieu Twizerane.

Veteran Hategeka who rides for Nyabihu Cycling Club, finished in third place, a good two minutes adrift of champion Munyaneza.

The Individual Time Trial (ITT) champion Areruya clocked 3h58’18” to finish in sixth position, three seconds ahead Uwizeyimana who settled for a seventh spot.

In the juniors’ category, Jean Eric Habimana from Fly Cycling Club used 2 hours, 47 minutes and 18 seconds to claim the 100km race while Bernabe Gahemba, a brother to Areruya from Les Amis Sportifs posted 2h47’51” to take the second place.

Saturday’s ITT winner Renus Byiza Uhiriwe of Muhazi Cycling Generation, used 2h48’02” to finish in third position.

In the women category, Les Amis Sportifs’ Xaverine Nirere won the 75km race after clocking 2h24’18. She was followed by Valentine Nzayisenga (2h24’24”) from Club Benediction and the 2017 champion Beatha Ingabire (2h24’36), respectively.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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