by Peter Kamasa The New Times
Natnael Tesfazion has become the third Eritrean and second in a row to win Tour du Rwanda after being crowned as this year’s champion on Sunday (01) afternoon in Kigali.
The 20-year old claims 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.
Rwandan Moise Mugisha, who was riding for local outfit Skol Adrien Cycling Academy (SACA), finished second both in the ultimate stage and the general classification. Overall, Mugisha was 54 seconds behind Tesfazion.
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 Rwanda inside the top 10 of the 889km race, under eight stages, which had started last Sunday.
On top of the Yellow Jersey, Natnael 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.