1. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) – 10:27:34
2. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) 10:30:14
3. Al Kouraji Mohane (Morocco) – 10:30:40
4. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo (Rwanda) – 10:32:27
5. Aidan Van Niekerk (South Africa) – 10:33:02
Stage 4: Top five
1. Henok Mulueberhan (Eritrea) – 1:50:44
2. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) – 1:50:44
3. Abdelraouf BEngayou (Algeria) – 1:50:47
4. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) – 1:50:47
5. Alexandre Mayer (Mauritius) – 1:50:50
Joseph Areruya cemented his place as arguably Africa’s best rider in the last four months after the 21-year-old won the inaugural U-23 UCI Tour de l’Espoir in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Sunday evening.
Eritrean Rhan Henok Muluebe won the fourth and final stage (80.1km) from Akono-Yaoundé after using 1 hour, 50 minutes and 44 seconds. However, the day belonged to Team Rwanda lead cyclist Areruya, who claimed the four-stage competition despite finishing fourth on the final day.
Victory for Areruya, qualified him and Team Rwanda to this year’s Tour de l’Avenir, the world’s top-rated U23 cycling event scheduled for August 17-26 in France.
Tour le d’Avenir is the third consecutive victory for the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s rider Areruya, who claimed Tour du Rwanda last November and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, Africa’s biggest cycling event, last month in Libreville, Gabon.
While Eritreans showed great individual performances, winning three of the four stages, Team Rwanda displayed the highest level of teamwork. Only 20-year-old Samuel Mugisha won stage three on Saturday in a two-man finish sprint with teammate Areruya.
Sterling Magnell’s Team Rwanda finished top of the 15-team table to emerge champions of the 4-stage Tour de l’Espoir that covered a total 447km distance, while hosts Cameroon scooped the fair-play award and Morocco was voted the most combative team.
After Tour de l’Espoir, the focus will now shift to the forthcoming UCI Africa Road Championship scheduled for February 13-18 in Rwanda.
Credit: The New Times