Pierre Rolland, 33, won Stage 6 of Tour du Rwanda in an emphatic style
The Frenchman who rides for UCI ProTeam B&B Hotels p/b KTM broke free from the peloton alongside the other 6 riders, right from the 25KM mark and never looked back.
The experienced Rolland has won 2 stages in Tour du France but has largely been quiet in Kigali since day one of Tour du Rwanda, spending most of his efforts helping his team to three Stage victories.
Before his stage victory on Friday, Rolland’s team had registered a hattrick thanks to Alan Boileau’s sprint prowess. It was a matter of when not if Rolland would add another stage win to the tally, and he did it the best way possible.
Rolland rolled into the lead in the early stages of the 152.6KM race and rode 102KM in a solitary breakaway. At first, he had 6 men in the breakaway but they all dropped as Rolland attacked the mountains of Gicumbi district at the 50KM mark.
Going into the last KM, Rolland had an advantage of 5 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of the peloton and 2 minutes ahead of the chasing group of 6.
He braved heavy storm from the 30KM through the last 10KM. Rolland remained courageous and strong through the slopes and tough climbs, as he put it in his own words.
He climbed the final 5 minutes of the ’stinging’ Mont Kigali with the assurance that the victory was nigh.
"The last meters before the finish. Oh how it stings and then the deliverance, the line and the happiness of being able to raise your arms, savour," Rolland tweeted, in a caption accompanying a video of his last 500 meters to the finish line.
Yes !!! 😁🏆
Très fier de lever les bras sur le @tour_du_Rwanda après une sacrée étape. C’est long 100 bornes tout seul ! 😅
— Rolland Pierre (@PierroooRolland) May 7, 2021
After the victory, Rolland took on Twitter to says, "Very proud to raise my arms on the Tour du Rwanda after a hell of a stage..."
The French veteran rider is the 2nd oldest (34y 210days) to win a stage in Tour du Rwanda after Smet Guy (39y 293days) in 2011.
Meanwhile, there was yet another twist in Yellow Jersey holder. Rodríguez Martin Cristian of Team Total Direct Energie finished 5th, in the right time bracket to claim the coveted jersey become the first Spanish to wear the yellow jersey of Tour du Rwanda.
This edition has already equalled the record of 4 jersey wearers (Brayan Sánchez, Rodríguez Cristian, Eyob Metkel, Umba Lopez) like 2012 and 2013, with two stages left to finish the tour.
On Saturday, the 7th and penultimate stage will be an ITT of 4.5KM race which will start at 11 A.M from Nyamirambo- Intwari Primary School- Tapis rouge.
1. Cristian Rodriguez 20’38’10"
2. Piccoli James 20’38’17"
3. Jhonatan Restrepo 20’38’23"
1. Teugels Lennart 54pts
2. Pierre Roland 32pts
3. Manizabayo Eric 28pts
1. Teugels Lennert 26pts
2. Goytom Tomas 12pts
3. Andreas Goemann 8pts
Best Young Rider Classification
1. Alan Boileau 20h38’46’’
2. Zerai Nahom +11"
3. Callum Ormiston 2’25"
Best African rider Classification
1. Zerai Nahom 20h38’57’’
2. Kent Main +51"
3. Callum Ormiston +2’14"
1. B&B HOTELS p/b KTM 61h51’47’’
2. Team Total Direct Energie +03’57’’
3. Team Medellín +10’12’’