South African cyclist Main Kent who rides for ProTouch won the fourth stage at the ongoing Tour du Rwanda 2022.
Kent timed his attack perfectly 3.5Km before the finish line and never looked back to win Kigali to Gicumbi race, color, covering a distance of 124km clocking 3 hours, 17 minutes and 40 seconds.
Team ProTouch riders were in blistering form on Wednesday, such that 2KM to the finish it was Kent against his teammates Moise Mugisha before the latter dropped in the last Kilometres to let Kent finish it off in a sprint solo.
“To be honest I don’t win a lot of races. It’s been a long time since I won a race and this is by far my biggest race that I have got, ” Kent said after the race, “It wasn’t for me, we were working for my teammates Moise (Mugisha) but the other guys accelerated from the bottom of the climb and caught up with the breakaway. They hesitated and I kept my speed, and then got the gap, put my head down to the finish line. I am so happy, I can’t tell you how much it means, ” Kent added.
Kent paid tribute to his teammates for the win, especially two Rwandans, Moise Mugisha and Samuel Mugisha who he says put the pressure on other riders and gave them a chance to win the stage.
“We had Samuel in the breakaway all day and he very strong. He gave his all and out the pressure off his teammates. Moise was very strong today. He is very strong we almost told him to ease off otherwise he uses all his powers. I am pretty sure if I didn’t win today he (Moise) could have had his chance. But it’s a very strong team all-round,”
Rwandan rider Eric Muhoza who rides for Team Rwanda came in fifth place two seconds behind the stage winner after clocking 3 hour 17 minutes and 42 seconds.
At the final kilometer during the sprint, Kent Main Kent beat to the line Ukrainian rider Dubiak Anatolli, Alain Boileau and his countryman Eyob Metkel.
Axel Laurance who finished in 14th place using the same time as the winner is the new leader in general classification.
Colombian rider Jonathan Restrepo of Drone Hopper Androni Gio, who won second stage failed to make it among the top 20 riders in the fourth stage.
Restrepo struggled from the 50th Kilometre to a point of being dropped by the peloton before he recovered to catch up with the pack.
There were signs the Colombian rider was either ill or weary after a long 155km Stage Two race from Kigali to Rubavu which he won.
In the fourth stage, Rwandan cyclists put up a spirited performance with two team Rwanda riders registering podium finishes.
Niyonkuru Samuel was the most combative rider while Muhoza Eric dethroned compatriot Uhiriwe Byiza Renus for the Best Rwandan rider.
Samuel Mugisha of Pro-touch took over King of the Mountain Jersey after winning 3 of the 4 summits of the day.
“I was well prepared for this stage,” Samuel said after the race.
The 2018 Tour du Rwanda Champion added, “Thanks to the team effort, we won today’s stage. But on a personal level, this was the time to prove to everyone that Mugisha of 2018 is still very much around.”
Eric Manizabayo of Benediction Ignite finished in 18th place, 10 seconds behind the stage winner, while Jean-Bosco Nsengimana, Moise Mugisha of Pro-touch came in 25th place respectively.
Eric Iradukunda, Uwiduhaye and Samuel Niyonkuru finished in 29th, 30th and 36th places.
Tour du Rwanda continues on Thursday with riders taking on Stage Five; a 124.7Km race from Muhanga to Musanze.
1. LAURANCE AXEL (B&B HOTELS - KTM)
2. MADRAZO RUIZ ANGEL- (BURGOS-BH) 10”
3. TESFAZION NATNAEL -(DRONE HOPPER - ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) “
4.BUDIAK ANATOLII-(TERENGGANU POLYGON) “16
5. MULUEBERHAN HENOK (BIKE AID) “17
1. Main Kent- Stage Winner by Amstel Malt
2. Axel Laurance- Yellow jersey by visit Rwanda
3. Mugisha Samuel - King of the Mountain by Cogebanque
4. Sandy Dujardin (Team Total Energies (8pts )- Dark Blue jersey (Intermediate Sprints) by SP Rwanda
5. Axel Laurance -Blue sky and yellow jersey (Best young rider) by Prime Insurance
6. Muhoza Eric (Rwanda) 10h46’54"- White Jersey (Best Rwandan Rider) by Forzza Gaming
7. Nataniel Tesfazion - Green and white jersey (Best African rider) by RwandAir
8. Niyonkuru Samuel (Rwanda) - Orange, Green and White jersey (Combativity) by Horizon Express
9. Drone Hopper Androni Gio 32h17’32" - White and Blue sky jersey (Team Classification) by Inyange Industries.