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Janse van Rensburg takes victory in Kigali

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Competition was fierce on the first day of the Tour of Rwanda.

Competition was fierce on the first day of the Tour of Rwanda. (Image credit: Cynthia Lou)
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Alex Bowden (Team Type 1) pictured during stage 1 of the Tour of Rwanda.

Alex Bowden (Team Type 1) pictured during stage 1 of the Tour of Rwanda. (Image credit: Cynthia Lou)
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There were big crowds out to watch the peloton on the road to Kigali.

There were big crowds out to watch the peloton on the road to Kigali. (Image credit: Cynthia Lou)
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Fabio Calabria (Team Type 1) ready for action ahead of stage 1.

Fabio Calabria (Team Type 1) ready for action ahead of stage 1. (Image credit: Cynthia Lou)
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The peloton in the early section of stage 1 of the Tour of Rwanda.

The peloton in the early section of stage 1 of the Tour of Rwanda. (Image credit: Cynthia Lou)

Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) won Wednesday the opening stage of the Tour of Rwanda, Kigali-Kigali, defeating the new African Continental Champion, Daniel Teklehaimanot and the former champion Dan Craven (UCI Continental Center) in a six rider sprint.

The first stage didn't entail big gaps in the general classification but the first battle happened between the two major squads, Eritrea and Morocco, and the experts disagree to say which one took the real advantage: on the 162.8 kilometer stage, Morocco had bad luck and Eritrea did exhausting efforts.

The route to the Eastern part of the country, near the National Park of Akagera, was supposed to be flat, at least the flattest in the Tour of Rwanda, but it took a single way to Kabarondo town and, after a U turn, the riders came back on some electric hills.

2009 Tour of Rwanda winner, Adil Jelloul (Morocco) launched an attack at kilometer 8, sparking the early move. "I've a bit experience and no way the breakaway came out without a rider from our country, so I didn't hesitate a lot to go with him," said Jean De Dieu Uwimana (Rwanda), who was followed by the Zambian Trust Munangandu (UCI Continental Center) and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa).

Until the middle of the race the breakaway also included Australian Fabio Calabria (Team Type 1) but he was dropped because he just was restarting his season after a three-week holiday and a three-week training.

The breakaway advantage was 4:20 in the middle of the race but the Eritrea team chased flat out during 90 kilometers. In 15 minutes they were able to close to half a minute and at 18 kilometers to go the breakaway was caught. The Morocco team extended its bad day with a puncture for Abdelati Saadoune at three kilometers from the finish, at the bottom of the last climb.

In the 1.2 kilometer final climb with 11% sections, all the favourites went in front: Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwanda), Dan Craven (UCI Continental Center), Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (South Africa) and two Eritrean, Meron Russom (second in the Africa Champs last weekend) and Teklehaimanot. The last one explained he had a too little gear for the sprint – an 11 teeth – and he couldn't beat the South African, who became naturally the first yellow jersey of the Tour of Rwanda.

Van Rensburg, 21, was delighted to claim his first win outside of his country. "I always was second until today," he smiled. In the Tour of Morocco this year he finished second five times and had the silver medal last week in the U23 African Championships in both the time trial and the road race. Considered as a good sprinter and time trialist, the strengths which help to succeed in his country, he has no idea of his ability to keep the lead tomorrow in the two half-stages in the mountains, with a finish at 2230 meters in the morning.

Jock Boyer, the Rwanda National coach, explained there are not necessarily the queen stages of the race, as the climbs are long but the gradient around 4 or 5%. The route could be interesting for his rider Niyonshuti, who won in the same place two weeks ago in the Tour of Kigali, or Kenyan climbers who are all in the main peloton in the first stage except one who broke his wheel, or the Eritean strong men.

But Tesfei Berhi, the President of Eritrea Federation, was doubtful after the first stage. "Our riders did a little mistake letting the group go without one or two of them. They did a big effort to come back. That's why they didn't win. And I hope they'll recover well enough before the mountain stages."

Mostafa Najjari, Morocco's coach, said his plan was to force the Eritean to work as much as possible and he enjoyed making this happen, but his best positioned rider in the general classification, Jelloul, who is also the King of Mountains, lost 15 seconds. The first stage of the Tour of Rwanda raised exciting questions and the suspense is intact.

Full Results
1Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa3:53:45
2Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Eritrea
3Dan Craven (Nam) UCI Continental Center
4Meron Russom (Eri) Eritrea
5Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Rwanda
6Estifanos Gebresilassie (Eth) UCI Continental Center
7Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eri) Eritrea0:00:15
8Tesfai Teklit (Eri) Eritrea
9Adil Jelloul (Mar) Morocco
10Nathan Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda
11Jasson Bakke (RSA) South Africa
12John Njoroge (Ken) Kenya
13Gabriel Combrinck (RSA) South Africa
14Mouhssine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco0:00:21
15Frekalsi Debesai (Eri) Eritrea
16Obert Chembe (Zam) UCI Continental Center
17Obed Ruvogera (Rwa) Rwanda
18Sollomon Bittew Shiferaw (Eth) UCI Continental Center
19Fathi Ahmed Atunsi (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
20Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Rwanda
21Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) UCI Continental Center
22Luthando Kaka (RSA) South Africa0:00:24
23Tarik Chaoufi (Mar) Morocco0:00:34
24Adnane Aarbia (Mar) Morocco
25Paul Agorir (Ken) Kenya
26Emmanuel Rudahunga (Rwa) Rwanda
27Nyandwi Uwase (Rwa) Rwanda
28Benjamin Trouche (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:00:38
29Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa
30Julien Schick (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin
31Amr Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed (Egy) Egypt0:00:55
32Eddin Asran Osamahussam (Egy) Egypt
33David Matovu (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:01:03
34Issiaka Fofana (CIv) Ivory Coast
35Nicodem Habiyambere (Rwa) Rwanda
36Peter Loriko (Ken) Kenya
37Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1
38Abdelati Saadoune (Mar) Morocco
39Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
40Bram Delie (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:01:12
41Guy Smet (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
42Med Said El Ammoury (Mar) Morocco
43Ibrahim James Yousef (Egy) Egypt
44Kipchumba Benjamin Kogo (Ken) Kenya
45Issiaka Cisse (CIv) Ivory Coast
46John Delong (USA) C.A. Castelsarrasin
47Songezo Jim (RSA) South Africa
48Dieunedort Simo Sando (Cmr) Cameroon0:01:33
49Samuel Mwangi (Ken) Kenya0:01:45
50Francis Louis (Sey) Seychelles0:01:49
51Ali Al-Sayed Ali Abdullah (Egy) Egypt
52Mohamed Saad Abou Hegazy (Egy) Egypt
53Raoul Herve Mbah (Cmr) Cameroon
54Chris Germain (Sey) Seychelles
55Araya Medhin Dawit Haile (Eri) Eritrea
56Youssef Belgasem Ahmed (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
57Mohamed Ali Almabruk (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
58Javier Megias-Leal (Spa) Team Type 10:01:59
59Mahmoud Mohamed Alaa Eddin (Egy) Egypt0:02:13
60Faysal Alsharaa (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
61Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
62Jean De Dieu Uwimana (Rwa) Rwanda0:02:27
63Guillaume Soula (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:03:19
64Philip Van Baele (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
65Innocent Uwamungu (Rwa) Rwanda0:10:05
66Jean Marie Ndayikengurukiye (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:10:24
67Bolotigui Ouattara (CIv) Ivory Coast0:11:24
68Robert Tawedi Modi (Cmr) Cameroon0:11:42
69James Bristol (Sey) Seychelles0:11:45
70Trust Munangandu (Zam) UCI Continental Center0:11:53
71Evert Verbist (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:12:10
72Amin Abdelrazag Alkilani (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:13:11
73Gunther Cuylits (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:13:38
74Sah Noel Tanessop (Cmr) Cameroon0:16:22
75Martinien Tega (Cmr) Cameroon
76Simeon Green (GBr) C.A. Castelsarrasin
77Innocent Sibomana (Rwa) Rwanda0:28:06
78Issa Ntibitura (Rwa) Rwanda0:35:23
79Samuel Ekiru (Ken) Kenya0:37:28
80Jean Marie Nshimirimana (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:37:32
81Edward Pothin (Sey) Seychelles0:37:44
82Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 10:38:12
83Alex Bowden (USA) Team Type 10:40:26
84Charles Joe Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1
85Eric Sinamenye (Rwa) Rwanda0:41:34
86Andy Rose (Sey) Seychelles0:44:59
87Stradford James Helms (USA) Team Type 10:45:33
88Edward Bukenya (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:47:46
89Juvenal Nduwimana (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:50:02
90Mamadou Coulibaly (CIv) Ivory Coast0:52:27
91Simon Brierley (Sey) Seychelles
92Robert Kiwendo (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs1:11:40
DNSRobert Fotsing Dassie (Cmr) Cameroon
DNFBassirou Konte (CIv) Ivory Coast
DNFBen Zakaria Fofana (CIv) Ivory Coast

General classification after stage 1
1Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa3:53:45
2Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Eritrea
3Dan Craven (Nam) UCI Continental Center
4Meron Russom (Eri) Eritrea
5Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Rwanda
6Estifanos Gebresilassie (Eth) UCI Continental Center
7Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eri) Eritrea0:00:15
8Tesfai Teklit (Eri) Eritrea
9Adil Jelloul (Mar) Morocco
10Nathan Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda
11Jasson Bakke (RSA) South Africa
12John Njoroge (Ken) Kenya
13Gabriel Combrinck (RSA) South Africa
14Mouhssine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco0:00:21
15Frekalsi Debesai (Eri) Eritrea
16Obert Chembe (Zam) UCI Continental Center
17Obed Ruvogera (Rwa) Rwanda
18Sollomon Bittew Shiferaw (Eth) UCI Continental Center
19Fathi Ahmed Atunsi (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
20Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Rwanda
21Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) UCI Continental Center
22Luthando Kaka (RSA) South Africa0:00:24
23Tarik Chaoufi (Mar) Morocco0:00:34
24Adnane Aarbia (Mar) Morocco
25Paul Agorir (Ken) Kenya
26Emmanuel Rudahunga (Rwa) Rwanda
27Nyandwi Uwase (Rwa) Rwanda
28Benjamin Trouche (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:00:38
29Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa
30Julien Schick (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin
31Amr Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed (Egy) Egypt0:00:55
32Eddin Asran Osamahussam (Egy) Egypt
33David Matovu (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:01:03
34Issiaka Fofana (CIv) Ivory Coast
35Nicodem Habiyambere (Rwa) Rwanda
36Peter Loriko (Ken) Kenya
37Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1
38Abdelati Saadoune (Mar) Morocco
39Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
40Bram Delie (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:01:12
41Guy Smet (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
42Med Said El Ammoury (Mar) Morocco
43Ibrahim James Yousef (Egy) Egypt
44Kipchumba Benjamin Kogo (Ken) Kenya
45Issiaka Cisse (CIv) Ivory Coast
46John Delong (USA) C.A. Castelsarrasin
47Songezo Jim (RSA) South Africa
48Dieunedort Simo Sando (Cmr) Cameroon0:01:33
49Samuel Mwangi (Ken) Kenya0:01:45
50Francis Louis (Sey) Seychelles0:01:49
51Ali Al-Sayed Ali Abdullah (Egy) Egypt
52Mohamed Saad Abou Hegazy (Egy) Egypt
53Raoul Herve Mbah (Cmr) Cameroon
54Chris Germain (Sey) Seychelles
55Araya Medhin Dawit Haile (Eri) Eritrea
56Youssef Belgasem Ahmed (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
57Mohamed Ali Almabruk (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
58Javier Megias-Leal (Spa) Team Type 10:01:59
59Mahmoud Mohamed Alaa Eddin (Egy) Egypt0:02:13
60Faysal Alsharaa (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
61Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
62Jean De Dieu Uwimana (Rwa) Rwanda0:02:27
63Guillaume Soula (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:03:19
64Philip Van Baele (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
65Innocent Uwamungu (Rwa) Rwanda0:10:05
66Jean Marie Ndayikengurukiye (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:10:24
67Bolotigui Ouattara (CIv) Ivory Coast0:11:24
68Robert Tawedi Modi (Cmr) Cameroon0:11:42
69James Bristol (Sey) Seychelles0:11:45
70Trust Munangandu (Zam) UCI Continental Center0:11:53
71Evert Verbist (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:12:10
72Amin Abdelrazag Alkilani (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:13:11
73Gunther Cuylits (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:13:38
74Sah Noel Tanessop (Cmr) Cameroon0:16:22
75Martinien Tega (Cmr) Cameroon
76Simeon Green (GBr) C.A. Castelsarrasin
77Innocent Sibomana (Rwa) Rwanda0:28:06
78Issa Ntibitura (Rwa) Rwanda0:35:23
79Samuel Ekiru (Ken) Kenya0:37:28
80Jean Marie Nshimirimana (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:37:32
81Edward Pothin (Sey) Seychelles0:37:44
82Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 10:38:12
83Alex Bowden (USA) Team Type 10:40:26
84Charles Joe Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1
85Eric Sinamenye (Rwa) Rwanda0:41:34
86Andy Rose (Sey) Seychelles0:44:59
87Stradford James Helms (USA) Team Type 10:45:33
88Edward Bukenya (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:47:46
89Juvenal Nduwimana (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:50:02
90Mamadou Coulibaly (CIv) Ivory Coast0:52:27
91Simon Brierley (Sey) Seychelles
92Robert Kiwendo (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs1:11:40

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