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Tour du Rwanda success continues to attract more World Tour teams

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CGTNAFRICA 01 MAR 2020

Natnael Tesfazion became the third Eritrean and second in a row to win Tour du Rwanda after being crowned as this year’s champion on Sunday afternoon in Kigali.

The 20-year old claimed the coveted Yellow Jersey of the biggest cycling race on the continent from compatriot Merhawi Kudus who won it last year when Tour du Rwanda was organised for the first time under the UCI 2.1 category.

Tour Du Rwanda./Photo courtesy of TDRwanda2020

Rwandan Moise Mugisha finished second both in the ultimate stage and the general classification. Overall, Mugisha was 54 seconds behind Tesfazion.

However, the 23-year old only crossed the finish-line of the eighth stage 3 seconds Nippo–Delko Marseille rider Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego who used 2 hours, 33 minutes and 24 seconds to win the 89.3km stage across the capital.

Eventual race winner Tesfazion, who was in the Yellow Jersey since clinching stage 4 on Wednesday, looked relaxed and cheerful as he finished in 9th position in the final stage.

Mugisha, who was making his third Tour du Rwanda appearance, was the only Rwandan inside the top 10 of the 889km race, under eight stages, which began last Sunday.

On top the Yellow Jersey, Tesfazion also took home the jerseys for best African rider and best young rider, whereas compatriot Dawit Yemane was the best sprinter.

Two jerseys for the best Rwandan and most combative riders went to Mugisha and Didier Munyaneza, respectively, while Estonian Rein Taaramae scooped the King of the Mountain (best climber) award.

Debutant Italian side Androni Giocattoli topped the team classification.

For the second consecutive edition of the annual UCI Africa Tour race, Rwandan riders failed to win a single stage.

The annual Tour du Rwanda has catapulted cycling into arguably the most successful and famous sport in the East African nation. Since turning international in 2009, the Tour has risen to become Rwanda’s signature sporting event as CGTN’s Mohamed Abubakar reported.

UCI officials were at this year’s event to observe on the organization of the Tour, as Rwanda waits for hear on the world governing body’s final decision on their bid to host the 2025 world cycling championship

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