Rugg louds ‘cheerful’ fans in Tour du Rwanda

Thousands of cycling spectators lined up on the roadside in Nyabugogo as they cheered on riders during Stage 2 from Kigali to Huye on Monday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Following his Stage 4 win on Wednesday, Timothy Rugg has showered praises on the local spectators, revealing that their ‘warm cheer’ played a vital role to his stunning stage victory.

The 32-year old all-round rider dominated the stage from the beginning finally clocking 3 hours, 31 minutes and 25 seconds to comfortably claim his first stage win at this year’s edition.

Speaking to Times Sport Wednesday, the former Germany’s Stradalli Bike Aid rider couldn’t hide his delight for the encouragement he got from the cheering fans, which prompted a mental shift for him – from searching for King of the Mountains points to battle for a stage win.

“It was an unexpected win, I was only trying to get some climbing points of the King of Mountains, but, I put in a big gap to the chasing peloton and took the advantage – and saw the finish line first,” said Rugg.

He added, “The support of fans on the roadsides pushed me, it felt like the whole country was cheering me on, you know! Riding through these little villages in the middle of nowhere and find people shouting your name, you just have to keep going. I was lucky to have such support.”

This is the rider’s second stage win in the Tour du Rwanda the first having come in 2016, the same year that he scooped a prologue (Individual Time Trial) win of the race.

“The people of Rwanda are just amazing, they love the sport. Frankly, I have never enjoyed as much support back home in the United States,” he noted.



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