Muhanga - It was a calamitous finish after a relatively good and fast start on the 3rd stage of Tour of Rwanda 2014 as more than five riders in the leading pack fell on a slippery road as they approached the finish line.
Yellow Jersey Valens Ndayisenga was among those who fell within 200 metres to the finish line, spoiling his chances to win a second consecutive stage but Team Rwanda Karisimbi rider was given his full time, which ensured that he retained his yellow jersey.
Also to fall was title contender Mekseb Debesay of Team Bike Aid-Ride for Help and Team Karisimbi’s Joseph Biziyaremye who was also in contention for a stage win.
To benefit from the disastrous finish was Team Eritrea’s Dawit Haile who eased his way to the finish line to win his first stage of the tour from Musanze to Muhanga-a distance of 127.5Km.
The Eritrean carefully avoided the pile up on a slippery road in Muhanga town to take advantage of the situation.
Team Karisimbi’s Jean Bosco Nsengimana could have easily won the stage having led with his country mates towards the end only to be distracted as Ndayisenga and Biziyaremye failed to negotiate the last corner and ended up in a roadside trench.
Unfazed, with his bike chain split, Ndayisenga limped to the finishing line but despite failing to win his second stage, he managed to retain the yellow jersey with 1m and 3 seconds ahead of his closest competitor Mekseb Debesay.
Ndayisenga leads the general classification ahead of Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Biziyaremye while Mekseb is in 4th.
“I was disappointed. I did not anticipate the corner, we were moving at a high speed. But again my spirits were lifted when people came and lifted me up. I am encouraged that we still have the yellow jersey,”
“Hopefully tomorrow I will have recovered well to compete for Muhanga-Rubavu stage, even though I know it is the longest and most challenging,” Ndayisenga said.
Mekseb Debesay on the hand also seemed to be in some pain but said that he was confident to recover for the 4th stage.
Thursday’s stage will be from Muhanga, Southern Province, to the Western Province district of Rubavu, a distance of 126.4Km, through the winding corners of Rubavu district.
- Dawit Haile, Eritrea, 03h30’34’’
- Nsengimana Jean Bosco, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 03h30’34’’
- Terrettaz Thomas, Team Meubles Decarte, 03h30’34’’
- Melake Berhane, AS.BE.CO CYCLING Team, 03h30’34’’
- Byukusenge Patrick, Rwanda-Akagera, 03h30’34’’
- Joseph Biziyaremye, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 03h30’34’’
- Ndayisenga Valens, Rwanda-Karisimbi 10h02’48’’
- Nsengimana Jean-Bosco, Rwanda-Karisimbi 10h03’47’’ 59’’
- Biziyaremye Joseph, Rwanda-Karisimbi 10h03’47’’ 01’03’’
- Debesay Mekseb, Bike Aid-Ride for Help 10h03’51’’ ’’
- Ghebreizggabhier, 10h03’51’’ 01’09’’
- Debretsion Aron AS.BE.CO Cycling Team 10h03’57’’