- Mugisha Samuel wins stage one
Stage two: Kigali-Huye 120.5km
1. Samuel Mugisha (Team Rwanda) 3h08’56”
2. Jean Claude Uwizeye (POC Cote de Lumière) 3h09’17”
3. Mulu Hailemicheal (Ethiopia) 3h09’17”
4. Didier Munyaneza (Team Rwanda) 3h12’20”
5. Jonas Doring (Team Descartes Romandie) 3h12’22”
General Classification top five
1. Samuel Mugisha (Team Rwanda) 05h21’39”
2. Jean Claude Uwizeye (POC Cote de Lumière) 05h22’00”
3. Mulu Hailemicheal (Ethiopia) 05h22’00”
4. David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) 05h24’43”
5. Azzedine Lagab (GSP Algerie) 05h24’24”
In what was largely a Rwandan affair, Team Rwanda’s Samuel Mugisha yesterday in stylish and remarkable performance soloed to win the 120.5 kilometer distance of stage two; Kigali-Huye, recording his first ever stage win at the Tour du Rwanda since making debut in 2016.
The 20-year old’s brilliant performance saw him claim the yellow jersey from Algerian 31-year old Azzedine Lagan who had won the first stage on Sunday in Rwamagana.
Following a modest performance during the stage one in which only one Rwandan rider (Valens) Ndayisenga made it into the top five, the local riders woke up to prove their prowess in their own race and claimed three spots in the top five during stage two.
The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider who led the race in a breakaway throughout soloed to clinch first ever stage win covering the 120.5km in three hours, eight minutes and 56 seconds beating the duo of Jean Claude Uwizeye and Ethiopian Mulu Hailemicheal who finished second and third respectively by 20 seconds.
Uwizeye and Hailemicheal crossed the finish line in a sprint photo finish each clocking three hours, nine minutes and 17 seconds.
Didier Munyaneza also of Team Rwanda took the fourth place after posting 3 hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds while Jonas Doring of Team Descartes Romandie posted 3h12’22” to take the fifth place.
Along the heavy crowded 120.5 kilometer highway from the start, the peloton moved together before Club Benediction’s 18-year old debutant Eric Manizabayo launched the first quick attack to comfortably claim the three points of the first climb that was at 5.8 kilometers into the race beating his Team Rwanda compatriot Didier Munyaneza who crossed it second.
After 15 kilometers, 2016 King of the Mountains Samuel Mugisha for Team Rwanda, POC Cote de Lumière’s Jean Claude Uwizeye and Ethiopia’s Mulu Hailemicheal attempted the first breakaway opening a thirty five seconds gap to the peloton.
This breakaway paid off for the Ethiopian Hailemicheal as he beat off the duo of Rwandan riders to clinch the stage’s second climb at 18.6 kilometers hence grabbing two points before also taking the intermediate sprint.
By the time the trio entered Ruhango town, they had stretched their lead to three minutes and twenty seconds with group hence taking the second intermediate sprint.
The trio’s breakaway maintained the lead and by the time they bypassed Nyanza town before entering Huye district, the lead was at three minutes and eighteen seconds.
With 16 kilometrs left into the race, the trio of Mugisha, Uwizeye and Hailemicheal had stretched their lead on the peloton further to four minutes before Mugisha launching the final attack as the trio entered Huye town to claim the stage.
Following stage two, Mugisha now leads the General Classification having now used a total of 5 hours, 21 minutes and 39 seconds while Uwizeye stands in the second place with 5 hours and 22 minutes, a gap of twenty seconds same gap as third placed Hailemicheal.
David Lozano of Team Novo Nordisk comes fourth having now clocked 5 hours 24 minutes and 43 seconds, a gap of three minutes and 23 seconds, the same gap as fifth placed Munyaneza.
Meanwhile action continues today with the longest stage ever in the history of Tour du Rwanda, a 195.3 kilometers distance that will start from yesterday’s finish point in Huye town Southern province, and head to Musanze town in the Northern Province, the famous home of Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC), the home of Team Rwanda.
The stage will have two intermediate sprints along the course with the first one coming after 72.8 kilometers while the second one after 121 kilometers.
Four climbs will be up for grabs with the first one after 85.4 kilometers lasting 3.9 kilometers, the second one after 116.5 kilometers lasting a gruesome 7.6 kilometers while the third one will be after 146.2 kilometers lasting 18.8 kilometers with the fourth one after 165.9 kilometers lasting 8.7 kilometers.
- Mugisha Samuel in the stage winner jersey sponsored by Skol Rwanda
- Mugisha Samuel being awared the yellow jersey sponsored by MINISPOC
- Mulu Hailemicheal in KOM jersey sponsored by Cogebanque
- UWIZEYE Jean Claude in most aggressive rider’s jersey sponsored by @RwandAgriExport
- Mugisha Samuel in #VisitRwanda jersey sponsored by RDB Rwanda
Stage three: Huye-Musanze 195.3km