Ukrainian cyclists Budiak Anatoli who rides for Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), a Malaysian UCI Continental cycling team, won the 6th stage of Tour du Rwanda on Friday from Musanze and Kigali (152km)
Budiak used 3 hours, 35 minutes and 21 seconds for the 152km distance to beat Eritrean Natnael Tesfatzion who came second. Rwandan cyclists Eric Manizabayo for Benediction Ignited finished third in this race.
Budiak’s victory, the first-ever stage victory for any cyclist from Ukraine on this 2.1 category African tour, should give a slight reason for a smile for the Ukrainian whose country is going through difficult days due to the crisis with Russia.
"I’m very happy to win a race of such a level,” Budiak said after the race, “it was very hectic, everyone wanted to attack and it made the race very indecisive.”
Indeed, it was a tactical day for all the riders today as teams sought to keep within the safe distance of the yellow jersey going into the final two stages of Tour du Rwanda.
The New Yellow Jersey holder Natnael Tesfazion said: “It was not planned to take the jersey today, said the Eritrean, but the circumstances of the race were favorable, I thought that it would be rather tomorrow that I would take first place in the general classification.”
At no point did the peloton allow the breakaway to go beyond a two-minute distance throughout the race.
A first breakaway was attempted at the 5Km mark but the peloton remained vigilant and pulled them back to the 11 leading riders.
At about the 30Km mark, four men including Jean Bosco Nsengimana, O.Goldstein, Merchan, Aparicio attempted another breakaway but they were kept within the 1’30’’ distance until 116 KM when the peloton pulled them back in Gicumbi.
However, Rwandan Nsengimana had done most of the work to sweep on the Climber Classification points of the day including the 15 points at the summit of Tetero Hill (Hors catégorie – [HC]). Nsenginama currently sits top of the Mountain Climber classification in GC with 61 points.
The remainder of the race was survival for the fittest during one of the toughest races so far which saw 4 riders including former Yellow Jersey holder Axel Laurance from Team B&B HOTELS KTM abandon the race after 10 kilometres into the race.
On Saturday, riders will take on the Seventh Stage of Tour du Rwanda from Nyamirambo to Gicumbi and return to Kigali, covering
1. TESFAZION NATNAEL - (DRONE HOPPER - ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) 17h33’13"
2. BUDIAK ANATOLII-(TERENGGANU POLYGON) 17H33’19"
3. MULUEBERHAN HENOK (BIKE AID) 17H33’29"
4. MADRAZO RUIZ ANGEL- (BURGOS-BH) 17H33’29"
5. EWART JESSE (BIKE AID) 17H33’42"
1. Anatoliy Budyak - Stage Winner by Amstel Malt
2. Natnael Tesfazion - Yellow jersey by visit Rwanda
3. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 61 points - King of the Mountain by Cogebanque
4. Rolland Pierre (12 pts) - Dark Blue jersey (Intermediate Sprints) by SP Rwanda
5. Natnael Tesfazion 17h33’13" -Blue sky and yellow jersey (Best young rider) by Prime Insurance.
6. Manizabayo Eric (Benediction Ignite) 17h35’28"- White Jersey (Best Rwandan Rider) by Forzza Gaming
7. Natnael Tesfazion 17h33’13" - Green and white jersey (Best African rider) by RwandAir
8. Mugisha Moise - Orange, Green and White jersey (Combative Rider) by Horizon Express
9. Drone Hopper Androni Gio 52h45’36" - White and Blue sky jersey (Team Classification) by Inyange Industries