The youngest rider in the race, Merhawi Kudus has claimed the opening road stage at the Tour of Rwanda. The Eritrean rider who will turn 19 in January next year sprinted ahead of his breakaway companions in the final metres to claim the victory in the 148km stage. Fellow escapee Shaun Ward took the yellow jersey.
"I did not want to be in a group, and when you took the first flight went with five men, I tried. From there the team told me to do what I felt," Kudas told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
The race kicked off with a prologue and will test the compact 66-rider field over the eight-stage event. Current Orica-GreenEdge rider Daniel Teklehaymanot won the race overall in 2010 however, the neo-professional is not at this year’s edition.
Team Type 1 has made a return to the race which they won with Kiel Reijnen in 2011 however, the former winner is also absent from this year’s edition.
Tomorrow will offer a split day with two short but demanding stages which reach nearly 2,000m in altitude.