The Tour du Rwanda (2.2) started over the weekend in Kigali with the usual massive crowds lining the roadside.
The race started off with a prologue on Sunday with the riders then facing seven road stages. The line-up features a mix of African national teams such as Rwanda, Algeria, Eritrea and Ethiopia, UCI Continental teams including Tirol Cycling Team and Dimension Data for Qhubeka and various other teams from Africa, Europe and North America.
The race started with a 3.3-kilometre prologue in the capital Kigali. Jean Bosco Nsengimana of the Rwandan National Team raced to victory in a time of 3’46” at an average speed of over 52 kilometres per hour to take the first yellow jersey of the race.
Another Rwandan rider and last year’s overall winner Valens Ndayisenga (Tirol Cycling Team) finished second 2″ down with Stefan Bod (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) in third.
The opening road stage of the race took the riders over a course of 120.3 kilometres with four categorised climbs en route with the last climb inside the final kilometre.
Local rider Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) took a convincing win, finishing 1’34” ahead of team mate Kent Mate of South Africa, who in turn was 2″ ahead of a diminished bunch led home by Eritrean Natnael Mebrahtom.
Areruya took over the yellow jersey from Nsengimana and now leads his compatriot by 1’28”.