Ndayisenga - Yellow Jersey © Ben Andrew
November 15, 2016 (Karongi, Rwanda) – Stage 2 of the Tour du Rwanda was the first day in the mountains for the peloton. The 124.7km stage from Kigali to Karongi in the east of the country took riders over six categorized climbs, before descending into the town of Karongi on the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu. Valens Ndayisenga of Dimension Data for Qhubeka soloed into the finish ahead of a select group of 9 riders, taking the yellow jersey. Ndayisenga now enjoys a 1:25 lead on Joeseph Areruya (Les Amis Sportifs), and Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Stradalli –Bike Aid) at 1:26 behind.
Brett Wachtendorf © Ben Andrew
American Brett Wachtendorf, riding for the Canadian LowestRates.ca Cycling Team had an impressive ride, finishing 8th on the stage, jumping up the general classification. He now sits 10th overall at 3:27 back. The Canadian team had three riders finish inside the top-20 with Tim Rugg (LowestRates.ca), in yellow after Stage 1, now positioned 20th on GC at 5:11 behind.
The group on the first climb of the day © Ben Andrew
Massive crowds lined the roads as the riders left the capital of Kigali. All along the route, thousands of people came to cheer the peloton on as racers battled through the first real test of this Tour.
Boivin before the stage © Ben Andrew
The day was animated by Samuel Mugisha (Club Benediction), an 18 year-old from Rwanda, who spent over 80km in the lead to take the Mountain Classification. Mugisha was caught by a select group who separated from the rest of the field on the 16km Category 1 climb. Guillaume Boivin, 2015 Canadian road champ, and yesterday’s stage winner, remained in contact with the leaders until the base of the climb.
Nugisha - Mountains Jersey © Ben Andrew
Riders were met by a technical final three kilometers along Lake Kivu, which Ndayisenga took advantage of to put over a minute into the other GC favourites.
Ndayisenga - Skol Stage Winner © Ben Andrew
Tomorrow, the Tour heads south along Lake Kivu from Karongi to Rusizi. The 115.9km stage will see riders climb six categorized climbs, including a Cat. 1 summit with 15km to go, before descending down to the base of the Cat. 2 finish climb. Stage 3 marks a unique opportunity for the GC favourites as the only stage with a mountain-top finish.
Crowds leaving Kigali © Ben Andrew
1. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka 3:16:46
2. Suleiman Kangangi (Ken) Kenyan Riders Downunde 1:06
3. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Club Les Amis Sportifs 1:27
4. Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data For Qhubeka
5. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Stradalli – Bike Aid
8. Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Team Lowestrates.ca 1:27
44. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cycling Academy Team 16:07
62. Stephen Keeping (Can) Team Lowestrates.ca 29:05
69. Cameron McPhaden (Can) Team Lowestrates.ca 34:06
GC after Stage 2
1. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka 5:33:26
2. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Club Les Amis Sportifs 1:25
3. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Stradalli – Bike Aid 1:26
4. Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea National Team 1:32
5. Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data For Qhubeka 1:37
10. Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Team Lowestrates.ca 3:27
39. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cycling Academy Team 16:06
70. Stephen Keeping (Can) Team Lowestrates.ca 43:10
71. Cameron McPhaden (Can) Team Lowestrates.ca 48:09