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2016 Tour of Rwanda: US rider Rugg Timothy lives no chance for his rivals

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Stage 1 Classification:

1 – Timothy Rugg (USA – Team Lowestrates.ca)

2 – Amanuel Gebregziabher (Eritrea – Dimension Data for Qhubeka) at 2’’

3 – Joseph Areruya (Rwanda – Les Amis Sportifs) at 3’’

4 – Guillaume Boivin (Canada – Cycling Academy Team) at 4’’

5 – Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda – Stradalli-Bike Aid) at 4’’

General Classification

1 – Timothy Rugg (USA – Team Lowestrates.ca)

2 – Amanuel Gebregziabher (Eritrea – Dimension Data for Qhubeka) at 2’’

3 – Joseph Areruya (Rwanda – Les Amis Sportifs) at 3’’

4 – Guillaume Boivin (Canada – Cycling Academy Team) at 4’’

5 – Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda – Stradalli-Bike Aid) at 4’’

Jerseys

General Classification: Timothy Rugg (USA – Team Lowestrates.ca)

Stage winner: Timothy Rugg (USA – Team Lowestrates.ca)

Best Climber: Guillaume Boivin (Canada – Cycling Academy Team)

Best Young Rider (born after 1 January 1994) sponsored: Amanuel Gebregziabher (Eritrea – Dimension Data for Qhubeka)

Best African: Amanuel Gebregziabher (Eritrea – Dimension Data for Qhubeka)

Best Rwandan: Joseph Areruya (Rwanda – Les Amis Sportifs)

 

By M. Muhamudu

The American Timothy Rugg broke the dream of the Rwandans to win a fourth consecutive victory on the prologue of the Tour of Rwanda.

The rider of the Canadian Team Lowestrates has left no chance today for his rivals on this 3.3 kilometer time trial, dominating the Eritrean Amanuel Gebregziabher (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) of two seconds and the young Rwandan Joseph Areruya of three seconds.

As in 2011 and 2012 the first two appearances of the prologue to the program of the Tour of Rwanda, a rider from the North American continent won today after Kiel Reijnen (USA) and Rémi Roy Pelletier (Canada).

Timothy Rugg won his first professional victory today at the age of 30. The Californian had been more noticed with interesting places on the North American circuit at home in the United States but especially in Canada on major events like the Tour de Beauce or the GP of Saguenay.

“Winning my first victory in Africa has much value for me,” he said at the press conference. I stayed there when I was young in Uganda and Kenya but I had never raced an African cycling race. I do not know if I will be able to keep my yellow jersey but the long climbs like those of Rwanda are rather roads that benefit me. Rugg added

The favorites of this 8th edition are already placed on this prologue as the last two winners of the race, Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (5th to 4 ”) and Valens Ndayisenga (6th to 5 ”).

Thousands of fans turned out for the 2016 Tour of Rwanda opening race that started with a prologue at Amahoro Stadium on Sunday November 13 2016.

The 3.3km race Individual Time Trials saw Defending champion Jean Bosco Ndayisenga riding for Stradalli-Bike Aid finish 6th while Ndayisenga (2014 winner) will be riding for Dimension Data.

Buru Temesgen of Ethiopia was 7th over role. well as Rwanda’s Joseph Biziyaremye and Patrick Byukusenge Club Benediction finished among the best ten; in the 9th and 10th positions respectively.

Rwanda Cycling Federation president Aimable Bayingana is positive that Team Rwanda will retain the Tour du Rwanda title when the 2015 edition however analysts are skeptical having witness the hosts fail to win the ITT they’ve won in the last two editions.

Team Rwanda faces stiff sprint competition this year; The recent mayhem witnessed Janvier Hadi aged 25 making the hardest decision of retiring from the sport, while other riders like Emile Bintunimana and Camera Hakuzimana were fired from the team.

Which means new faces have joined the team including  but with the absence of such experienced riders it makes the fans skeptic whether the yellow jersey will remain in Rwanda and failure to win the prologue in front of huge crowed at Amahoro stadium is an hint how this year’s race looks to be tough.

12 foreign teams including five national teams; Cameroon, South Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Algeria, four UCI continental teams, including Dimension Data for Qhubeka (South-Africa), Kenyan Riders Downunder (Kenya), Cycling Academy Team (Israel), and Stradalli-Bike Aid (Germany), Team Lowest rates.Com (Canada), Team Haute-Savoie Rhone-Alpes (France) and Team Furniture Decarte (Switzerland) will complete this year.

This year’s edition has a total of seven stages and a prologue race and will cover a total distance of 818.7 kilometres and a total of 38 climbing stages.

For the first time, the race will reach the southwestern part of the country following the addition of two new routes, Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km).

Since 2009 when Tour du Rwanda became part of the UCI-Africa Tour 2.2, This year’s edition will cost an estimated Rwf460 million compared to the 2014 and 2015 editions that cost an estimated Rwf 400 million.

Apart from the financial rewards, the organizers reward the best stage winners, classification leader, and every cyclist who finishes in the top 20. Riders can also bag a bonus on mountain climbs.

The team classification has prize money down to three places, with $600 (Rwf 484, 000) for the best, $300 (Rwf 240, 000) for the first runners-up and $100 (Rwf 80, 000) for third place finish.

As the prologue stage winner Rugg now wears the yellow jersey; the best climber is Guillaume Boivin, while the best young and African rider is Amanuel Gebregziabher and Joseph Areruya is the best Rwandan rider.

The race continues on November Monday, 14 with Stage one from Kigali to Ngoma District in Eastern Province tomorrow covering a distance of 96.8 km. Then on Tuesday, the riders will be flagged off from Kigali Convention Center to Karongi for Stage two which is the third longest phase consisting of 124.7 km distance.

They will then set off from Karongi to Rusizi on Wednesday covering a distance of 155.9 km before leaving Rusizi to Huye for the fourth stage which is the longest in this year’s race with 140.7 km. They will also race from Muhanga to Musanze during Stage five and before they return Kigali from Musanze. The final Stage will be held at Amahoro Stadium next Sunday November 20th and the final winner will be officially revealed.

 

Team Classification after Prologue

1: DIMENSION DATA FOR QHUBEKA     71 – 73 – 72

2: TEAM LOWESTRATES.CA                              12’18”

3: STRADALLI – BIKE AID                                    12’24”

4: SOUTH AFRICA NATIONAL TEAM               12’28”

5: RWANDA EQUIPE NATIONALE                     12’44”

6: ETHIOPIA NATIONAL TEAM                          12’45”

7: CLUB BENEDICTION                                         12’46”

8: CYCLING ACADEMY TEAM                             12’46”

9: LES AMIS SPORTIFS                                          12’47”

10: ERITREA NATIONAL TEAM                          12’48”

11: MEUBLES DESCARTES PRODIS                   12’50”

12: KENYAN RIDERS DOWNUNDER                 12’50”

13: ALGERIA NATIONAL TEAM                           13’03”

14: SNH VELO CLUB CAMEROUN                      13’05”

15: HAUTE-SAVOIE/RHONE-ALPES                 13’13”

 

 

 

 

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