Huye- Rwandans will be waiting with crossed fingers as the 2014 Tour of Rwanda enters its final 2 stages, presenting an opportunity for the country to win its first Tour of Rwanda ever since the cycling tourney went international.
Today’s stage (Saturday November 22, 2014) will see the riders battle a 125.7km challenge from Huye to Kigali. The stage is one of the least challenging but one of the most tactical considering that it is fast from start to finish.
The course goes through relatively flat and winding roads through the districts of Huye, Nyanza, Ruhango, Muhanga and Kamonyi before it enters Kigali where they cross the finish line at the Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo.
Over the years, it has been one of the most unpredictable stages of the tour but as it has been, consistency between Huye and Kigali is key but whoever tackles the gruelling and challenging climb from Nyabugogo going up to Stage Regionale takes it.
Last year’s winner of this stage Eyob Metkel of Team AS.BE.CO from Eritrea relied on his climbing abilities to take advantage of his already tired and worn out colleagues to cross the finish line before anyone else.
Rwanda goes into today’s stage favourite to retain the yellow jersey but how the trio at the top, Valens Ndayisenga, Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Joseph Biziyaremye, perform today will be the determining factor.
Considering that only two stages remain, anything can happen in cycling but factoring in the consistence of the trio throughout this tour, it is now or never for Rwanda. Bearing in mind that they will rewrite history, it is highly unlikely that they will let the chance slip through their fingers.
On stage 5, Biziyaremye powered his way to a win in Nyanza, becoming the second Rwandan to win two stages of Tour of Rwanda, having won his first stage in 2011. Ndayisenga too went into history books for becoming the first Rwandan to ever win two satges in Tour of Rwanda.
Going into today’s stage, the Rwandans still face a challenge from Eritreans Dawit Haile and Aron Debretsion as well as Morocco’s Mraouni Salaeddine who can still upstage matters over the last two stages in an event that the Rwandans slip.
The final stage on Sunday will take place within the City of Kigali where the riders will do 108Km around the city. 50 riders remain in the race after several abandonments, as of Saturday, stage 6.
- Ndayisenga Valens Rwanda Karisimbi 18h59’05”
- Nsengimana Jean Bosco Rwanda Karisimbi 19h00’01’
- Biziyaremye Joseph Rwanda Karisimbi 19h00’20’
- Debretsion Aron As.Be.Co 19h00’23’
- Byukusenge Patrick Rwanda Akagera 19h00’51’