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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: LukasCPH on February 25, 2019, 14:47

Title: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 25, 2019, 14:47
Since 2009, the Tour du Rwanda has been a UCI race. Last year, it moved from November to August, this year it relocated to February - and moved up a category to 2.1, making it the same level as the Tropicale and bringing the first-ever WT team to the race.

The parcours

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdV72GM4kRM

Rwanda is the "Land of the Thousand Hills", so the eight stages are only very occasionally flat. Normally, it goes either up or down. Every stage includes several classified climbs, and four stages have uphill finishes, while the other four have the biggest climbs and go above 2000 m (sometimes significantly so - the highest point on the route is 2485 m on stage 3). The final two stages finish in Kigali and include several cobblestone sections including the already-famous Mur de Kigali on stage 8 on what could well become the 2025 World Championships circuit.

Stage 1: Kigali (Amahoro Stadium) - Kigali (Kicukiro Market), 111.8 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-1-profile.jpg)

Stage 2: Kigali - Huye, 120.5 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-2-profile.jpg)

Stage 3: Huye - Rubavu, 213.1 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-3-profile.jpg)

Stage 4: Rubavu - Karongi, 102.6 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-4-profile.jpg)

Stage 5: Karongi - Musanze, 138.7 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-5-profile.jpg)

Stage 6: Musanze - Nyamata, 121.1 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-6-profile.jpg)

Stage 7: Nyamata - Kigali (MIC Building), 84.1 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-7-profile.jpg)

Stage 8: Kigali (Kanombe) - Kigali (Nyamirambo), 61.7 km
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/jpg/tour-du-rwanda-2019-stage-8-profile.jpg)


The jerseys

The Tour du Rwanda likes classification jerseys. In fact, they like them so much that they award a whopping nine of them - to the stage winner, the overall leader, the king of the mountains, the best African, the best Rwandan, the most aggressive rider, the best young rider, the best sprinter, and the best team.

(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/skol-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/minispoc-jersey-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/cogebanque-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png)
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/rwandair-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/visitrwanda-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/rwandatea-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png)
(http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/prime-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/sp-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png) (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/IMG/png/inyange-1-tour-du-rwanda-2019.png)


The peloton

With one WorldTour team, five ProConti teams, five Conti teams, and six national selections the race has a decent peloton. The last five editions have been won by local riders, and #ddc Samuel Mugisha (2018), #delko Joseph Areruya (2017), teamrw Valens Ndayisenga (2014 & 2016), and #benediction Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (2015) all return for more.
They will face tough competition from a.o. #astana Merhawi Kudus, #astana Rodrigo Contreras, #teamer Yacob Debesay, #teamer Biniyam Ghirmay, #direct Rein Taaramäe, #academy Matteo Badilatti, #teamfr Simon Guglielmi, #interpro Hernán Aguirre, #teamdz Azzedine Lagab, #protouch Rohan du Plooy, and #teamke Suleiman Kangangi.

Teams:
#astana Astana Pro Team
#direct Direct Energie
#delko Delko Marseille Provence
#academy Israel Cycling Academy
#novonordisk Team Novo Nordisk
#ddc Dimension Data for Qhubeka
#benediction Benediction Excel Energy
#interpro Interpro Cycling Academy
#luanda BAI Sicasal Petro de Luanda
#protouch ProTouch
#teamrw Rwanda
#teamer Eritrea
#teamfr France U23
#teamdz Algeria
#teamke Kenya
#teamcm Cameroon

Full startlist:



How to follow

The first stage and the final two stages are broadcast live (and not geo-restricted) on rba.co.rw/tv (https://rba.co.rw/tv)
For the other stages, only the finish will be shown.

The race Twitter account @Tour_du_Rwanda (https://twitter.com/Tour_du_Rwanda) offers live updates etc., the official hashtag is #TDRwanda19 (https://twitter.com/hashtag/TDRwanda19?src=hash) (though they occasionally use #TDRwanda (https://twitter.com/hashtag/TDRwanda?src=hash)).
The race website is tourdurwanda.rw (http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/).


What happened in earlier years
If you want to, you can browse our race threads from 2016 (http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=8277.0), 2015 (http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=7639.0), 2014 (http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=6697.0), and 2013 (http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=4821.0).
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 25, 2019, 14:56
You may have noticed that this thread was started a bit late ... the first two stages already finished.

Yesterday's stage 1 came down to a sprint finish where #delko reigned supreme by taking first, third, and fourth place with Alessandro Fedeli, Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz and Joseph Areruya. #teamer Yacob Debesay squeezed in for second and showed that he is a force to be reckoned with this week.



Stage 2 today led the peloton from Kigali to Huye; the final included a little kicker just outside Huye. #astana Merhawi Kudus lived up to his label as favourite and won the stage two seconds ahead of a group of 27 riders. Kudus now also leads the GC.



Tomorrow will see what's arguably the queen stage - at 213 km it's the longest stage by a wide margin, and the peloton faces a lot of climbing with 4306 altitude metres. What's more, some 60 km of the stage are above 2000 m, so the Colombians, Eritreans, and Rwandans who grew up at altitude will have an advantage.
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Drummer Boy on February 25, 2019, 16:28
Quote
Since 2009, the Tour du Rwanda has been a UCI race. Last year, it moved from November to August, this year it relocated to February

So it's not just my imagination. These races truly are difficult to keep track of.  :S

Between various races that change their name, and those that change their spot on the calendar, cycling is a sport that really demands quite a bit from their fans. It gets so confusing to me that I seem to pay attention to fewer and fewer races each year.

Is there any other sport that presents such a challenge to their potential audience?

Also, I'm not quite clear on when these stages are taking place. I didn't notice start or end times listed on the website, unless I'm missing something.
:slow
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Leadbelly on February 25, 2019, 16:31
The Delko domination on stage 1 was helped by a crash in the last corner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgMpknuFf44

1m40 for the crash/sprint. Avila was the first to go down. Think Kudus was one of the others caught up in it.
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 25, 2019, 17:07
Also, I'm not quite clear on when these stages are taking place. I didn't notice start or end times listed on the website, unless I'm missing something.
:slow
Yeah, I couldn't find those either. :(
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 26, 2019, 19:03
213 km, 4306 altitude metres - today's was the longest-ever and arguably the hardest-ever stage of the Tour du Rwanda. And Merhawi Kudus was let loose like the cat among the pigeons.

#delko Kasperkiewicz and #interpro Guillonet went away early, #protouch du Plooy and #teamrw Moise Mugisha joined them to form the break of the day. They enjoyed a lead of up to three minutes, but were caught on the lower slopes of the long ascent to Kabaya.
In the peloton, #academy Ávila made a move that forced a selection of ~20 riders, and from this a sextet of elite climbers went: #yellow Kudus, #astana Contreras, #ddc Hailemichael, #academy Badilatti, #teamer Mulubrhan, and #interpro Aguirre.
Contreras and Kudus went over the top of the Kabaya climb alone, but were joined by Aguirre, Badilatti, and #direct Taaramäe (who must have descended like the devil to catch up) eventually. Kudus and Badilatti crested the final climb, Bigogwe, with a 20-second advantage on Taaramäe and Aguirre.

Taaramäe and Aguirre closed the gap again on the descent, but Kudus put in a final attack on the final 10 km to shake off his companions and race to a solo win in Rubavu, 15" ahead of Taaramäe, 43" ahead of Badilatti, and 58" ahead of Aguirre.
Fifth-placed Contreras had given his everything in support of Kudus earlier and finished over eight minutes down, with riders finishing in ones, twos, or small groups after that. The last to make the time cut, #teamcm Tientcheu and #teamcm Tella, were more than an hour behind.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0WhdHaWsAAJFuO.jpg)

Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Leadbelly on February 26, 2019, 20:45
Distance a bit too much for the locals. It was (almost) a bit too much for Badilatti as well, he was suffering from cramp on the long descent at the end.

Only 103km tomorrow and with such massive gaps, a successful break is the most likely outcome.
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: t-72 on February 26, 2019, 21:27
Serious amounts of climbing, is Rwanda the new Ardennes?
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Leadbelly on February 27, 2019, 09:56
https://twitter.com/Tour_du_Rwanda/status/1100694936431808513

Come on Edwin!
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 27, 2019, 22:14
Come on Edwin!
Long story short, he did it.

If you want more detail: With the massive time gaps from yesterday this was one for the breakaway. 20 riders got away, and the peloton was happy to let them stay away. #academy Ávila attacked from that select group with four kilometres to go and could hold on to the line. Meanwhile, #luanda Bruno Araújo bit off more than he could chew by trying to follow the best on the Congo Nil Center ascent, finishing last from the breakaway in the end.



One thing I have to criticise is the long turnaround for the stage highlight videos, or at least until they're up on Twitter. Today again the race account tweeted the day's results etc. - and then followed up with the highlights from yesterday. I know that you have to cut and edit the footage, but ~24 hours is on the long side, and posting it after the next day's stage ended is just confusing.
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: LukasCPH on February 28, 2019, 21:19
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0euLi7WwAEho7f.jpg)

Today's stage 5 was another for the breakaway. 12 riders went away, and 11 of them made it to the finish (only #ddc Hailemichael was dropped on the climbs). There were six Rwandans among them, but the home country is still chasing its first stage win of this year's edition as #teamer shooting star Biniyam Ghirmay took his second stage win in as many UCI stage races.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0fvWFUXQAEqJCV.jpg)

Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Leadbelly on March 03, 2019, 09:15
https://twitter.com/Tour_du_Rwanda/status/1102133262812676096

Final stage underway. GC tightened up a bit yesterday between the top-4.

Live stream here (https://rba.co.rw/tv).
Title: Re: Tour du Rwanda
Post by: Leadbelly on March 03, 2019, 10:05
https://twitter.com/Tour_du_Rwanda/status/1102146498807107585