Valens Ndayisenga - Yellow Jersey © Ben Andrew
November 17, 2016 (Huye, Rwanda) – The fourth stage of the Tour du Rwanda took riders on a grueling route between Rusizi and Huye. The 140.7km stage was won by Joseph Areruya of Club Les Amis Sportifis. Valens Ndayisenga of Dimension Data for Qhubeka kept his Yellow Jersey after fighting back from a rear flat on the descent off of the first categorized climb of the day. Ndayisenga now sits 1:16 ahead of Areruya, and 1:23 in front of 3rd placed Tesfom Okubamariam (Eritrea).
The main bunch descending in Nyungwe Forest © Ben Andrew
Brett Wachtendorf of the Canadian LowestRates.ca Cycling Team continued to show his consistency, maintaining his 10th place on the General Classification, 3:39 back. Wachtendorf placed 20th on the stage, closely following teammate, and yesterday’s stage winner, Timothy Rugg, who finished 17th. The LowestRates.ca Cycling Team unfortunately suffered the loss of Stephen Keeping to crash part way though the stage. He is in good condition, however specifics on his injuries have not been released by the team yet.
Racers heading into Nyungwe Forest National Park © Ben Andrew
Today’s stage took racers through the stunning Nyungwe Forest National Park, in the south of the country, near the border of Burundi. Of the stage’s six categorized climbs, three fell within the mountainous jungle of the beautiful park. In total this stage included 50km of riding between 2,200 and 2,500 meters in altitude. This, and the strong pace set by Dimension Data resulted in select group of around 30 coming to the line together. The stage was further animated by heavy rain that began to fall as the lead group crested the final category climb of the day, just over 10km from the line. The slick roads, and a tired group resulted in a crash involving 2015 Tour du Rwanda winner Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Stradalli – Bike Aid) after crossing the line.
Ndayisenga chasing back after a flat © Ben Andrew
Tomorrow, the race will make a transfer to the town of Muhanga, where Stage 5 will begin. Heading north to the town of Musanze, riders will battle over five categorized climbs, including three category 1 climbs during the 125.8km route. The 18.8km penultimate climb, which averages 4.2%, will surely see some fireworks from GC favorites.
Stunning views today in the mountains © Ben Andrew
1. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Club Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana 4:02:43
1. Joseph Biziyaremye (Rwa) Rwanda
2 Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data for Qhubeka
3 Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea
4 Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) Club Benediction de Rubavu
17. Thimothy Rugg (USA) LowestRates.ca
20. Brett Wachendork (USA) LowestRates.ca
21. Edward Greene (Rsa) LowestRates.ca
44. Cameron McPhaden (Can) LowestRates.ca 21:25
51. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cycling Academy Team
DNF Stephen Keeping (Can) LowestRates.ca
GC after Stage 4
1. Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Dimension Data for Qhubeka 12:54:36
2. Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Club Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana 1:16
3, Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea 1:23
4. Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Stradalli – Bike Aid 1:26
5. Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data for Qhubeka 1:28
10. Brett Wachtendorf (USA) LowestRates.ca 3:39
18. Timothy Rugg (USA) LowestRates.ca 5:00
21. Edward Greene (Rsa) LowestRates.ca 5:56
48. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cycling Academy Team 51:33
62. Cameron McPhaden (Can) LowestRates.ca 1:27:46