LukasCPH

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Tour du Rwanda
« on: November 12, 2016, 19:37 »
It's November. In Europe, the only cyclists still active are those going around in circles or punching through the mud. In Africa, this couldn't be further from the truth: It's time for the Tour du Rwanda!

The history[1]
Until 2008, the Tour du Rwanda was a regional cycling race that brought together Rwandans but also riders from neighbouring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya etc.

Upon his election to president of the FERWACY in 2008, aided by the National Technical Director Jock Boyer, Aimable Bayingana has worked to organize Tour du Rwanda as an international race. With Olivier Grandjean, consultant, expert and general coordinator, and with the support of Jean-Claude Hérault, very experienced in organizing international events, success was not long in coming and less than 5 years later, the Tour du Rwanda has risen to the top 3 of cycling races on the African continent. With the considerable assistance of MINISPOC and private economic partners, the Tour du Rwanda found its cruising speed and each mid-November offers the people of Rwanda a magnificent week-long sporting spectacle for free and all over the country!

Through national and international media coverage of quality, the beautiful landscape of the "Country of Thousand Hills" is seen all over the world. Each year, riders from far away (USA, Belgium, Canada, France, ...) or close by (Kenya, South Africa, Eritrea, Algeria, Gabon, ...) are challenging the Rwandan riders on their home roads. A very international palmares (the race has been won by a Moroccan, an Eritrean, an American, two South Africans and two Rwandans) confirms the Tour du Rwanda's high sporting quality.


Over the years, the race has showcased the development of African cycling: The 2009 edition was dominated by the Moroccans, the next year the Eritreans ruled supreme. South Africa has always been a force at the race, and lately the local heroes have come to the fore and won the last two editions - even taking the whole podium last year.

Many riders who raced the Tour du Rwanda went on to bigger things: Niyonshuti, Teklehaimanot, Berhane, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Reijnen, Rosskopf, Girdlestone & Meintjes all turned pro, and several more riders are well on their way to that. Which rider(s) will we see in this year's edition that will turn heads on the big scene a few years on?

Year Winner Runner-up 3rd place
2009 *ma Adil Jelloul *ma Abdelatif Saadoune *rw Adrien Niyonshuti
2010 *er Daniel Teklehaimanot *er Natnael Berhane *za Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
2011 *us Kiel Reijnen *us Joey Rosskopf *za Dylan Girdlestone
2012 *za Darren Lill *za Dylan Girdlestone *ke John Njoroge
2013 *za Dylan Girdlestone *za Louis Meintjes *er Metkel Eyob
2014 *rw Valens Ndayisenga *rw Jean-Bosco Nsengimana *er Aron Debretsion
2015 *rw Jean-Bosco Nsengimana *rw Joseph Areruya *rw Camera Hakuzimana


The parcours
A prologue in Kigali kicks off the stage race. The first two road stages are easier than what follows after that - but definitely not easy. Stage 1 has only one cat. 3 climb, but stage 2 offers six climbs including a cat. 1, although the last 38 km are mostly downhill.
Stage 3 with four climbs in the first 40 km, a cat. 1 in the last third of the stage, and a cat. 2 finishing climb is the first key stage for the GC riders, while stage 4 is a bit more mellow - still with 6 climbs, though.
Stage 5 with five climbs, including two cat. 1 climbs in the second half, is another big GC stage, and stage 6 with four cat. 1 climbs, including two ascents of the cobbled "Kigali Wall" in the final, will be another important GC day. Stage 7 consists of a 12-km circuit that is raced nine times.

Prologue: Kigali - Kigali; 3.3 km


Stage 1: Kigali - Ngoma; 96.4 km


Stage 2: Kigali - Karongi; 124.7 km


Stage 3: Karongi - Rusizi; 115.9 km


Stage 4: Rusizi - Huye; 140.7 km


Stage 5: Muhanga - Musanze; 125.8 km


Stage 6: Musanze - Kigali; 103.9 km


Stage 7: Kigali - Kigali; 108 km



The jerseys
#rwstage Stage Winner jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage to the rider with the fastest cumulative time.

#rwyellow General Classification jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage and overall to the rider who leads in general classification.

#rwkom Best Climber jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage and overall to the rider who leads the cumulative mountain points tally.

#rwyouth Best Young Rider jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage and overall to the young rider with the fastest cumulative time.

#rwafrican Best African jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage and overall to the African rider with the fastest cumulative time.

#rwrwandan Best Rwandan jersey: Awarded at the end of each stage and overall to the Rwandan rider with the fastest cumulative time.


The peloton
15 teams will participate in the race, including four Continental teams, 5-6 national teams, and 5-6 regional selections or club teams (SNH is effectively a Cameroonian national team).

*de #bikeaid Stradalli-Bike Aid
*rw #teamrw Rwanda
*za #ddc Dimension Data for Qhubeka
*il #academy Cycling Academy Team
*ke #krd Kenyan Riders Downunder
*er #teamer Eritrea
*rw #rwamagana Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana
*fr #hsra Team Haute-Savoie Rhône-Alpes
*za #teamza South Africa
*ch #descartes Meubles Descartes
*rw #rubavu Club Bénédiction de Rubavu
*et #teamet Ethiopia
*ca #lowestrates LowestRates.com
*cm #snh SNH Vélo Club
*dz #teamdz Algeria
Startlist

2015 winner Nsengimana is back to defend his title, racing for #bikeaid Stradalli-Bike Aid this year. He may be hampered by only having three teammates, though.
The #teamrw Rwandan national team consists a.o. of veterans Nathan Byukusenge, Ruhumuriza, Hategeka, and Biziyaremye. They will be more experienced than many of the younger riders, Rwandan or foreign, and might just pull off a surprise.
2014 winner Ndayisenga will lead a strong #ddc Dimension Data for Qhubeka line-up that also features Uwizeyimana, strong climber Gebreigzabhier, and 2013 podium-finisher Eyob.
#academy Cycling Academy Team brings sprinter Boivin, Pavlič, and three young Israelis. As a soon-to-be ProConti team, they should be one of the stronger squads in the race, and may have to take responsibility for the race.
I must admit that most of the #krd Kenyan Down Under riders are unknown to me, only veteran Mwangi rings a bell. Their Kenyans should be acclimatised to the altitude and weather though, and a Kenyan has podiumed the race before.
#teamer Eritrea always brings a strong team, their biggest hopes are double African champion Okubamariam and four-time Faso stage winner Solomon.
Areruya leads #rwamagana Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana team that also has U23 Worlds starter Uwizeye.
Fournet-Fayard is the biggest name in the #hsra Haute-Savoie Rhône-Alpes selection who are traditional as participants in the race.
The #teamza South African national team mostly consists of young and (as yet) unproven riders. 24-year old Calvin Beneke is their most experienced rider.
#descartes Meubles Descartes is a Swiss outfit that regularly journeys to exotic races in Africa or the Caribbean.
#rubavu Club Bénédiction de Rubavu is the third *rw team. Patrick Byukusenge was 5th overall last year.
The #teamet Ethiopian national team features a.o. Temesgen Buru (normally riding for #burgos) and former Marco Polo rider Estifanos Kebede.
#lowestrates LowestRates.com have raced the Tour of Szeklerland this year in addition to North American .2 races; but I'm afraid I haven't heard of any of them yet.
#snh SNH Vélo Club, however, comes with the best cyclists of Cameroon. Kamzong, Mba, Nzéké and Tékou all have made a name for themselves - but normally only in the Cameroonian 2.2 races, and are regularly not strong enough to be competitive in e.g. the Tropicale.
The #teamdz Algerian national team, in comparison, has a stronger line-up, with Lagab, Hamza, Abdenbi, Mansouri and Madani all performing well in international races.


How to follow the race
The prologue will be broadcast live on TV (and on the 'net) from 11 am local time (10 am CET): http://rba.co.rw/tv
For the road stages, it will probably only be the finish that is broadcast, but the final stage should also be on live.

Otherwise, Twitter is your friend: There will be frequent updates on the race Twitter, that of ProCyclingStats (who are at the race), and the Twitter channels of participating teams.
Every day, there will be race reports, photos & videos on the race website.

Race Twitter
Hashtag #tdrwanda
Race website
Photos
Videos
 1. based on http://tourdurwanda.rw/About/
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  • « Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 21:22 by LukasCPH »
    Cyclingnews Women's WorldTour Correspondent
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    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 19:38 »
    The startlist for tomorrow's Kigali prologue:
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 11:29 »
    Prologue results:


    Jerseys:
    #rwstage #lowestrates Timothy Rugg
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> #lowestrates Timothy Rugg
    #rwyouth #ddc Amanuel Gebreigzabhier
    #rwafrican #rwamagana Joseph Areruya (proxy for Gebreigzabhier)
    #rwrwandan #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Areruya)
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  • « Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 15:55 by LukasCPH »

    Leadbelly

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #3 on: November 13, 2016, 20:08 »


    Lowest Rates had arrived really early in Rwanda (about a week ago), so maybe some acclimatisation played a part in his excellent victory.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 10:47 »


    This will please,  well everyone  :D
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #5 on: November 14, 2016, 10:56 »
    *ca Cannonball! :win
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #6 on: November 14, 2016, 11:41 »
    He's back on track! :win


    Jerseys on stage 2:
    #rwstage #academy Guillaume Boivin
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> #rwamagana Joseph Areruya
    #rwkom #bikeaid Meron Amanuel
    #rwyouth #ddc Valens Ndayisenga (proxy for Areruya)
    #rwafrican #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Areruya)
    #rwrwandan #teamrw Gasore Hategeka (proxy for Areruya)
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  • « Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 12:23 by LukasCPH »

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 20:02 »


    Gebreigzabhier the big name missing from the front group.
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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 09:01 »
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 10:46 »
    Youngest rider in the race going solo.
    He didn't last, though. Instead, #ddc Ndayisenga wins solo:
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 12:27 »
    Jerseys on stage 3:
    #rwstage #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #rwamagana Joseph Areruya (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwafrican #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwrwandan #rubavu Patrick Byukusenge (proxy for Ndayisenga)
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  • « Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 19:45 by LukasCPH »

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 18:46 »
    Lots of cool photos kicking about, but this has to be one of the most picturesque.

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 08:36 »
    https://twitter.com/TourofRwanda/status/798804453000253444

    Boivin had a mech and had to fight his way back to the other two. Mugisha active again and raking in the KoM points.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #14 on: November 16, 2016, 14:10 »
    The peloton closed in on that break relentlessly in the final.
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> Valens Ndayisenga was the first to make contact with just over 3 km to go, but the rest of the peloton came across as well on the final climb. #lowestrates Timothy Rugg attacked solo; he had a 17" advantage at the flamme rouge and managed to hold onto a small gap all the way to the finish for his second stage win in five days.



    Jerseys on stage 4:
    #rwstage #lowestrates Timothy Rugg
    #rwyellow #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #rwamagana Joseph Areruya (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwafrican #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwrwandan #rubavu Patrick Byukusenge (proxy for Ndayisenga)

    Oh, and happy birthday to #teamet Temesgen Buru! :party
    https://twitter.com/TourofRwanda/status/798822376414711808
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #15 on: November 16, 2016, 14:32 »
    If, like me, you want to look at pictures from the race, there are dozens hundreds of them on Flickr:
    Tour du Rwanda
    Kigali Today
    Rwandan Government (only from the prologue so far)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 19:48 »
    The road was uphill right from the start. A break consisting of #rwkom Samuel Mugisha, #rubavu Alex Nizeyimana, #teamer Kibrom Mehari & #teamet Goton Mebrahtu Biru went away on that first climb (Mugisha took max. points, of course), but was caught after 29 km.
    On the trek through the Nyungwe National Park, Mugisha took the prizes on all remaining climbs as well - and in the final 50 km, he was again part of a three-rider front group together with #teamrw Abraham Ruhumuriza and #teamet Temesgen Buru.
    Mugisha went solo on the day's final climb and was still ahead with 2 km to go, but in the end he was caught. #rwyouth Joseph Areruya won the sprint.



    Jerseys on stage 5:
    #rwstage #rwamagana Joseph Areruya
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #ddc Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwafrican #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwrwandan #rubavu Patrick Byukusenge (proxy for Ndayisenga)
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  • « Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 11:44 by LukasCPH »

    Leadbelly

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #17 on: November 18, 2016, 18:17 »
    https://www.facebook.com/CyclingAcademyTeam/videos/vb.515137875256442/811619545608272/?type=3&theater

    (the video clip is a crash from yeserday)

    Nasty crash during the finish today when a woman bystander ran into the course when the main group of favourites where sprinting for the line. KoM leader Mugisha and Biziyaremye must have been the ones caught up in it with Cycling Academy saying one of them has a punctured lung.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #18 on: November 18, 2016, 19:20 »
    Nasty crash during the finish today when a woman bystander ran into the course when the main group of favourites where sprinting for the line. KoM leader Mugisha and Biziyaremye must have been the ones caught up in it with Cycling Academy saying one of them has a punctured lung.
    That's not good. :(
    Best wishes to the affected riders.

    A break of nine riders - a.o. #lowestrates Edward Greene, #academy Guillaume Boivin, #rubavu Alex Nizeyimana, #krd Joseph Gichora Kamau, #teamrw Gasore Hategeka, #teamet Kibrom Haylay - got away early, but the group fell apart on the long cat. 1 climb that crested after 75 km. From the peloton, #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana tried to bridge the gap to the front (only 45" at that point), but was unsuccessful.

    Hategeka, Haylay & Greene stayed in front, with Boivin chasing solo for a while before he, too, was caught by the bunch. Somehow, #ddc Metkel Eyob & #teamrw Patrick Byukusenge had made it to the front group, while Greene was dropped; those four riders held off the peloton by 46" seconds in the end. Eyob won the stage and also moved up to second place overall.



    Jerseys on stage 6:
    #rwstage #ddc Metkel Eyob
    #rwyellow #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #rwamagana Joseph Areruya (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwafrican #teamet Tesfom Okubamariam (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwrwandan #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Ndayisenga)

    Tomorrow the race returns to Kigali where the riders face two ascents of the Kigali Wall. Probably the last chance to change the GC.
    Eyob is now only 42" behind Ndayisenga, but that's still a lot of time to make up on a 500 m climb. However, Areruya, Okubamariam & Nsengimana are only 10" apart and will fight for the last podium spot.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #19 on: November 19, 2016, 21:31 »
    The stage was shorted down to 91.6 km due to the weather forecast predicting lots and lots of rain; the lap through Kigali with the second ascent of the cobbled "Wall of Kigali" was binned.

    A move right after the start of the stage consisted of #teamer Elyas Afewerki, #teamet Kibrom Haylay & #teamdz Azzedine Lagab. On the first climb, Haylay left his companions behind and continued solo, keeping a gap of 45" on the peloton. He was caught on the second climb, and a strong group of around 20 riders including all GC favourites started the descend towards Kigali.
    #rwyellow Valens Ndayisenga attacked in the descent and started the "Wall of Kigali" with about 36" on a chasing group of 15. #ddc Metkel Eyob was the strongest from that group, leaving everyone else behind on the cobbled climb and almost catching Ndayisenga in the 2.2 run-in to the finish at Kigali Stadium - but he came just short of another stage win, with Ndayisenga taking one for the home crowd instead.




    Jerseys on stage 7:
    #rwstage I guess that Ndayisenga will be in #rwyellow, so this jersey won't be worn in-race
    #rwyellow #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #rwamagana Joseph Areruya (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwafrican #ddc Metkel Eyob (proxy for Ndayisenga)
    #rwrwandan #bikeaid Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (proxy for Ndayisenga)

    Tomorrow won't be a procession by any means, but I believe the GC to be settled. Of course Nsengimana could try to eke out 15" on Okubamariam to get onto the podium - but since there are no bonus seconds, I think he's best-advised to focus on the stage win.
    Of course, there will be 58 other riders trying the same ... :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #20 on: November 20, 2016, 08:37 »
    The final stage is underway - and broadcast live at http://www.rba.co.rw/tv! :cool
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour du Rwanda
    « Reply #21 on: November 20, 2016, 10:54 »




    Classification winners:
    #rwyellowGC jersey" class="smiley" /> #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwkom #rubavu Samuel Mugisha
    #rwyouth #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwafrican #ddc Valens Ndayisenga
    #rwrwandan #ddc Valens Ndayisenga

    Valens reigns supreme! :win
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  • Ram

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