Les Amis Sportiff rider Joseph Areruya is the new race leader at this year’s Tour du Rwanda after finishing in tenth position at the end of stage one. The Rwandan rider stuck out with the leading group of riders despite several of his teammates being dropped after the highest climb at 30.4 kilometers posting a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes.
Areruya was part of a second group of riders that had initially been dropped on the final climb with 10 kilometers to the finish line but managed to half the time by six seconds with four kilometers to the finish..
Areruya who had earlier been tipped as one of the race favorites holds a narrow 1 second lead over the day’s stage winner Guillaume Boivin and defending champion Jean Bosco Nsengimana. 2014 champion Dimension Data’s Valens Ndayisenga is a further two seconds adrift in forth position.
The Canadian rider came home in a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes with a few micro seconds the difference between him and Areruya to close the gap to one second after finishing fourth in yesterday’s prologue stage one place behind the new yellow jersey holder, “It was a great race on our side but there is still a lot to go in the race, anything is possible,” said the 27 year old cycling Academy Team rider.
On a day surprisingly dominated by the climbers, Eritrean rider Amanuel Meron riding for Belgian club Straddali Bike aid is the current King of the Mountains after beating country mate Elyas Afewerki to the highest and only categorized climb of the day at an elevation of 30.4 kilometers to lead the mountain classification.
Solomon Zemenfes and Okubamariam Tesfom finished second and third respectively on the day when three of the top five riders came from Eritrea. Uwizeye Jean Claude (Les Amis Sportiff) was the best placed Rwandan on the day, finishing in sixth place.
There will be eight climbs in tomorrow’s Stage two that will cover a total distance of 124.7 kilometers from Kigali to Karongi.