Voice of Sport

Young rider Ndayisenga’s good preps propel him to victory in Tour of Rwanda

Kenya, winners through Peter Kamau in 2006 and regular challengers did not compete this year. Their rider, John Muya Njoroge, who was third in Rwanda last year, had just died in a crash in Philippines


HOME rider Valens Ndayisenga on Sunday won the Tour of Rwanda, his first ever victory in one of Africa’s premier cycling races started in 1988.

In the general classification, Ndayisenga (24hrs 57:10) won over compatriot Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (24hrs 58:03) while Ethiopia’s Aron Debretsion took the bronze medal in 24hrs 58:44.

Foreign

A Rwandese had not won since 2008 when Adrien Niyonshuti took victory, vacating for a foreign domination including: 2009 – Adil Jelloul (Morocco), 2010 – Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eritrea), 2011 – Kiel Reijnen (USA), 2012 – Darren Lill (South Africa), 2013- Dylan Girdlestone (South Africa).

Kenya, winners through Peter Kamau in 2006 and regular challengers did not compete this year. Their rider, John Muya Njoroge, who was third in Rwanda, last year, had just died in a crash in Philippines a few days before and Kenyans were too distraught to make arrangements for the Tour of Rwanda.

Switzerland

Ndayisenga’s win was proof of the gains from good preparations. He had previously participated in six continental competitions this year as well as training at the world cycling centre at Aigle in Switzerland. He said this spurred him to victory in the Tour of Rwanda.

The 20-year-old became the first Rwandan to win the prestigious competition ever since it got listed on the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar five years ago.

Elite races

Ndayisenga took part in several training stints in Canada, Switzerland and France this year and also participated in six continental competitions in Algeria and Gabon as well as the U-23 world championship in Ponterrada-Spain.

“I have gained lots of experience from training alongside good riders in Switzerland and France, The coaches also gave us useful tips on how to work as a team in such elite races and we applied that resulting in our triumph.”

Minister

On three different occasions when Ndayisenga’s bicycle got a puncture, his teammates Nathan Byukusenge and Joseph Biziyaremye sacrificed theirs to aid him retain the yellow jersey.

“Other Sports Associations should learn from the Cycling Federation because Rwandan cyclists have been improving year by year. We are grateful to the cyclists and the winner and we will give them a special bonus,” Joe Habineza, Rwanda’s Minister for Sport said.

Prize money

Ndayisenga’s winning prize was $ 4,060 (Sh360, 000).

The Tour of Rwanda, organised by Rwanda Cycling Federation since 1988 became part of the UCI Africa Tour in 2009.

2014 TOUR DU RWANDA (933.8km) :

Final stage classification:

1. Mraouni Salaeddine – (Morocco) 2h43’54’’

2. Jean-Bosco Nsengimana – (Rwanda) 2h43’54’’

3. Dawit Haile – (Eritrea) 2h43’54’’

4. Melake Berhane – (Eritrea) 2h43’54’’

5. Afewerki Elyas – (Eritrea) 2h43’54’’

6. Valens Ndayisenga – (Rwanda) 2h43’54’’

General Classification:

1. Valens Ndayisenga – (Rwanda) 24h57’10’’

2. Jean-Bosco Nsengimana – (Rwanda) 24h58’03’’

3. Aron Debretsion – (Eritrea) 24h58’44’’

4. Joseph Biziyaremye – (Rwanda) 24h58’51’’

5. Mraouni Salaeddine – (Morocco) 24h59’15’’

Other Rwandese riders

11. Patrick Byukusenge

13. Abraham Ruhumuriza

17. Uwizeyimana Bonaventure

19. Jean-Claude Uwizeyimana

21. Nathan Byukusenge

28. Gasore Hategeka

29. Emile Bintunimana

30. Janvier Hadi

33. Jeremie Karegeya

35. Aime Mupenzi

39. Theoneste Karasira

PREVIOUS WINNERS:

1988 Célestin Ndengeyingoma – (RWA)

1989 Omar Masumbuko – (RWA)

1990 Faustin Mparabanyi – (RWA)

1991-2000 No competition

2001-2005 Bernard Nsengiyumva- (RWA)

2006 Peter Kamau – (KEN)

2007 Abraham Ruhumuriza – (RWA)

2008 Adrien Niyonshuti – (RWA)

2009 Adil Jelloul – (MAR)

2010 Daniel Teklehaymanot – (ERI)

2011 Kiel Reijnen – (USA)

2012 Darren Lill – (RSA)

2013 Dylan Girdlestone – (RSA)

2014 Valens Ndayisenga – (Rwa)

– Additional reporting by [Rwanda] ‘The New Times’