Stage Five: Karongi – Rubavu (95.1km)
1. Julian Hellmann (Team Embrace the World) 02h27’34”
2. Julius Jayde (South Africa) 02h27’34”
3. David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 02h27’36”
4. Didier Munyaneza (Team Rwanda) 02h27’37”
5. Jean Claude Uwizeye (POC Cote Lumiere) 02h27’37”
General Classification – top five
1. Samuel Mugisha (Team Rwanda) 16h35’30”
2. Jean Claude Uwizeye (POC Cote Lumiere) 16h35’51”
3. Mulu Hailemicheal (Ethiopia) 16h35’54”
4. David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 16h37’20”
5. Jonas Doring (Team Descartes Romandie) 16h37’43”
German Julian Hellmann underlined his sprint credentials for the second time in Tour du Rwanda Thursday as he powered to victory in the 5th stage from Karongi to Rubavu.
With three stages to the end of the UCI Africa Tour race, Rwandan Samuel Mugisha, who finished seventh in Stage 5, remained in the commanding position.
He leads the race by 21 seconds from compatriot Jean Claude Uwizeye, with Ethiopia’s third-placed Mulu Hailemicheal 24 seconds back.
Hellmann, of the Team Embrace the World, made it two stage wins on his name at this year’s Tour du Rwanda following Stage 3 triumphant showing from Huye to Musanze on Tuesday.
The 27-year old proved to be one of the few sprint specialists in the race this year as he launched his burst from a heavy peloton with 200 metres remaining to claim the 95.1-kilometre stage in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 34 seconds.
Hellmann won the stage in a two-man sprint photo finish as he crossed the finish line along with South African Jayde Julius. Team Novo Nordisk’s David Lozano (2:27:36) finished in third spot.
The duo of home riders Didier Munyaneza and Jean Claude Uwizeye completed top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively. They both used 2 hours, 37 minutes and 37 seconds.
Riding through the mountain ranges of Rutsiro District, a total of 68 riders rolled out for yesterday’s stage with 19-year old Hailemicheal, one of the most promising youngsters in the race, grabbing the King of the Mountains points just 4.4 kilometers out of Karongi town.
Club Benediction’s Janvier Hadi who tops the sprints classification standing, took the first intermediate sprint that was after 13.7 kilometers after beating his teammate Patrick Byukusenge and Team Descartes Romandie’s Jonas Doring.
The Ethiopian young rider, Hailemicheal, even claimed the second climb that was after 30.8 kilometers, this time whipping Rwandan trio of Eric Manizabayo, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Yellow Jersey holder Mugisha.
After 40 Kilometers into the race, the quartet of Valens Ndayisenga, Mugisha, Uwizeye and Lozano launched the first breakaway, opening a 30 seconds lead to the chasing group before being joined by another group that included Stage 1 winner Azzedine Lagab, the 2015 Tour du Rwanda champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Manizabayo and Hailemicheal.
King of the Mountains of the day Hailemicheal also scooped points for the third and final climb that was after 58.4 kilometers. As the stage entered in the last 25 kilometres, Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana’s Moise Mugisha and John Kariuki of Kenyan Riders Safaricom surged up the road to join the breakaway group that had put in a one minute and twenty seconds gap.
Uwizeye took the final intermediate sprint that was after 74.9 kilometers.
Heading into the final 10 kilometers, the peloton cut the gap to race along with the breakaway group as they began to tackle the sharp descent to Rubavu.Follow https://twitter.com/jeffasiimwe92