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Craven wins from 3-man break

The Tour of Rwanda's stage 4 will be a legendary day in the history of Rwandan cycling as the national champion Adrien Niyonshuti took over the lead of his home Tour from Tesfai Teklit of the formidable Eritrean team. Namibian all-rounder Dan Craven (UCI Continental Center) won the 148.9km stage which featured five first category climbs and torrential rain at the finish. Craven bested his two breakaway companions Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eritrea) and Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwanda) at the finish for the victory.

Despite the weather a massive crowd attended the finish in Gisenyi, on the Congolese border, close to the national park known for its gorillas and volcanoes. The spectators had plenty to celebrate as the 23-year-old Niyonshuti, a professional with the South African MTN team, donned the leader's jersey.

The stage started aggressively right from the start in Kigali as a breakaway formed after only one kilometre of racing on a long ascent. The breakaway included Nicodem Habiyambere and Gasore Hategeka (Rwanda), three teammates of race leader Tesfai Teklit: Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane, Frekalsi Debresai and Meron Russom (Eritrea), Gabriel Combrinck (South Africa), Abdelati Saadoune (Morocco), John Njoroge (Kenya) plus UCI Continental Center teammates Dan Craven and Tsgabu Grmay who were the most active throughout the stage.

The UCI Continental Center squad had decided to launch a big attack that day and they succeeded. The team's coach, Jean-Pierre Van Zyl, explained: "We wanted to make the race difficult, to take time on the general classification, support Grmay who was 10th overall and help [Estifanos] Gebresilassie, who was 5th, and could take advantage later if the Eritrean riders grew tired chasing the breakaway."

In August, Ethiopia's Grmay and Gebresilassie joined the UCI Continental Center team based in Augu, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Despite slight builds, the two U23 talents have big engines as Grmay, 62kg, tested for 25 minutes at 360 watts while Gebresilassie, 57kg, rode for 25 minutes at 350 watts.

"They couldn't manage to follow a straight line on the road at the beginning but they improved a lot," Van Zyl said. "Both also gained 80 watts in four months!" Ethiopian riders are the new outside contenders of the Tour of Rwanda, their first international race.

The breakaway's lead extended to 4:25 at kilometre 60 which put Meron Russom into the virtual yellow jersey while Natnael Berhane sprinted at the top of the climbs to win the polka-dot jersey.

Three riders were dropped from the break due to crashes: Njoroge, Hategeka and Habiyambere. It was particularly unfortunate for Hategeka who was highly motivated to be in front for the stage finish in his hometown.

The Rwandan team took comfort with the performance of their leader Adrien Niyonshuti who attacked the peloton at 60km to go.

"I saw nobody was following me so I extended my effort," Niyonshuti said. After a 10km solo effort, the Rwandan joined the breakaway which soon exploded on the challenging terrain. With 30km remaining in the stage only Niyonshuti, Berhane and Craven remained at the head of the race.

With five kilometres to go, Craven, a professional for Rapha Condor professional and a former Africa Continental Champion, attacked as he knew the route having spent two weeks training in the area with the Rwanda team. The 27-year-old from Namibia held off his two breakaway companions to win by two seconds.

"That's really the cycling I like, not because of the victory but the breakaway, the epic day, the team work," said Craven, who captured his last UCI success in May, in Ireland's FDB Insurance Ras.

Craven moves to third overall in the Tour of Rwanda, 37 seconds behind Niyonshuti. Eritrea is still dominating the general classification with Natnael Berhane (2nd at 10 seconds), Teklit (4th at 42 seconds), Teklehaimanot (5th at 1:17) and Russom (7th at 1:44).

On Saturday, stage 5 will cover the same route at today's stage but in the opposite direction. The peloton will immediately face a climb nearly 30km long which should shatter the field.

Full Results
1Dan Craven (Nam) UCI Continental Center3:56:44
2Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eri) Eritrea0:00:02
3Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Rwanda
4Adil Jelloul (Mar) Morocco0:01:41
5Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Eritrea
6Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa
7Meron Russom (Eri) Eritrea
8Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) UCI Continental Center0:01:46
9Abdelati Saadoune (Mar) Morocco0:01:49
10Tesfai Teklit (Eri) Eritrea0:04:14
11Frekalsi Debesai (Eri) Eritrea
12Estifanos Gebresilassie (Eth) UCI Continental Center
13Gabriel Combrinck (RSA) South Africa
14Julien Schick (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:04:29
15Paul Agorir (Ken) Kenya0:04:14
16Sollomon Bittew Shiferaw (Eth) UCI Continental Center0:10:19
17Nathan Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda
18Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa
19Emmanuel Rudahunga (Rwa) Rwanda0:16:12
20Ibrahim James Yousef (Egy) Egypt0:20:00
21Nyandwi Uwase (Rwa) Rwanda
22Med Said El Ammoury (Mar) Morocco
23Fathi Ahmed Atunsi (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
24Adnane Aarbia (Mar) Morocco
25Issiaka Cisse (CIv) Ivory Coast0:20:12
26Samuel Ekiru (Ken) Kenya
27Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Rwanda
28Innocent Sibomana (Rwa) Rwanda
29Luthando Kaka (RSA) South Africa
30Javier Megias-Leal (Spa) Team Type 1
31Jasson Bakke (RSA) South Africa0:20:32
32Tarik Chaoufi (Mar) Morocco0:20:42
33Obed Ruvogera (Rwa) Rwanda
34Araya Medhin Dawit Haile (Eri) Eritrea0:20:50
35Jean De Dieu Uwimana (Rwa) Rwanda0:21:00
36Samuel Mwangi (Ken) Kenya
37Eddin Asran Osamahussam (Egy) Egypt0:21:12
38Mohamed Ali Almabruk (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:23:26
39Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
40Issiaka Fofana (CIv) Ivory Coast0:23:53
41Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 10:26:03
42Evert Verbist (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
43Innocent Uwamungu (Rwa) Rwanda
44Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:26:08
45Philip Van Baele (Bel) Flanders Avia Team
46Issa Ntibitura (Rwa) Rwanda0:26:13
47Mouhssine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco0:26:18
48Guillaume Soula (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:26:33
49Benjamin Trouche (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin
50Mohamed Saad Abou Hegazy (Egy) Egypt0:27:26
51Bram Delie (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:27:38
52Amr Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed (Egy) Egypt0:27:53
53Kipchumba Benjamin Kogo (Ken) Kenya0:29:01
54Obert Chembe (Zam) UCI Continental Center0:30:32
55Peter Loriko (Ken) Kenya0:31:40
56Chris Germain (Sey) Seychelles0:32:52
57John Delong (USA) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:35:58
58Raoul Herve Mbah (Cmr) Cameroon0:41:23
59Alex Bowden (USA) Team Type 1
60Stradford James Helms (USA) Team Type 1
61Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 1
62Ali Al-Sayed Ali Abdullah (Egy) Egypt
63Sah Noel Tanessop (Cmr) Cameroon
64Robert Tawedi Modi (Cmr) Cameroon0:41:36
65Eric Sinamenye (Rwa) Rwanda0:43:28
66Guy Smet (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:43:40
67David Matovu (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:44:11
68Simeon Green (GBr) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:45:33
69Gunther Cuylits (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:48:08
70Mahmoud Mohamed Alaa Eddin (Egy) Egypt0:51:10
71Trust Munangandu (Zam) UCI Continental Center0:51:19
72Faysal Alsharaa (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
73Youssef Belgasem Ahmed (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:51:55
74Amin Abdelrazag Alkilani (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:52:21
HDDieunedort Simo Sando (Cmr) Cameroon1:08:49
HDJames Bristol (Sey) Seychelles1:09:46
HDEdward Pothin (Sey) Seychelles1:11:11
HDFrancis Louis (Sey) Seychelles1:12:08
DNSMartinien Tega (Cmr) Cameroon
DNFSongezo Jim (RSA) South Africa
DNFNicodem Habiyambere (Rwa) Rwanda
DNFJohn Njoroge (Ken) Kenya
DNFMamadou Coulibaly (CIv) Ivory Coast
DNFCharles Joe Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1
DNFJuvenal Nduwimana (Bdi) Mixt Team Grands Lacs
DNFAndy Rose (Sey) Seychelles
DNFBolotigui Ouattara (CIv) Ivory Coast

General classification after stage 4
1Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Rwanda10:30:38
2Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eri) Eritrea0:00:10
3Dan Craven (Nam) UCI Continental Center0:00:37
4Tesfai Teklit (Eri) Eritrea0:00:42
5Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Eritrea0:01:17
6Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa0:01:30
7Meron Russom (Eri) Eritrea0:01:44
8Adil Jelloul (Mar) Morocco0:01:49
9Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) UCI Continental Center0:02:05
10Estifanos Gebresilassie (Eth) UCI Continental Center0:04:12
11Abdelati Saadoune (Mar) Morocco0:05:25
12Julien Schick (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:05:49
13Paul Agorir (Ken) Kenya0:06:06
14Frekalsi Debesai (Eri) Eritrea0:06:19
15Gabriel Combrinck (RSA) South Africa0:08:49
16Nathan Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda0:12:00
17Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) South Africa0:13:02
18Sollomon Bittew Shiferaw (Eth) UCI Continental Center0:13:19
19Luthando Kaka (RSA) South Africa0:20:48
20Ibrahim James Yousef (Egy) Egypt0:21:02
21Emmanuel Rudahunga (Rwa) Rwanda0:21:05
22Fathi Ahmed Atunsi (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:21:18
23Jasson Bakke (RSA) South Africa0:21:50
24Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Rwanda0:23:05
25Tarik Chaoufi (Mar) Morocco0:23:06
26Araya Medhin Dawit Haile (Eri) Eritrea0:23:15
27Nyandwi Uwase (Rwa) Rwanda0:24:56
28Eddin Asran Osamahussam (Egy) Egypt0:24:58
29Adnane Aarbia (Mar) Morocco0:25:14
30Obed Ruvogera (Rwa) Rwanda0:25:43
31Issiaka Cisse (CIv) Ivory Coast0:25:45
32Bram Delie (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:27:54
33Issiaka Fofana (CIv) Ivory Coast0:28:03
34Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 10:28:21
35Mouhssine Lahsaini (Mar) Morocco0:28:49
36Jean De Dieu Uwimana (Rwa) Rwanda0:29:57
37Amr Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed (Egy) Egypt0:29:59
38Med Said El Ammoury (Mar) Morocco0:30:07
39Samuel Mwangi (Ken) Kenya0:31:23
40Javier Megias-Leal (Spa) Team Type 10:32:41
41Philip Van Baele (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:32:43
42Mohamed Ali Almabruk (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:32:45
43Benjamin Trouche (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:34:53
44Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:35:15
45Mohamed Saad Abou Hegazy (Egy) Egypt0:35:22
46Guillaume Soula (Fra) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:35:37
47Ahmed Mohamed Abdalla (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya0:36:45
48Peter Loriko (Ken) Kenya0:38:35
49Evert Verbist (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:40:57
50Obert Chembe (Zam) UCI Continental Center0:41:12
51Kipchumba Benjamin Kogo (Ken) Kenya0:47:14
52Chris Germain (Sey) Seychelles0:47:18
53Innocent Uwamungu (Rwa) Rwanda0:47:25
54John Delong (USA) C.A. Castelsarrasin0:47:59
55Raoul Herve Mbah (Cmr) Cameroon0:50:26
56Ali Al-Sayed Ali Abdullah (Egy) Egypt0:51:33
57David Matovu (Uga) Mixt Team Grands Lacs0:51:56
58Innocent Sibomana (Rwa) Rwanda0:55:31
59Guy Smet (Bel) Flanders Avia Team0:58:38
60Youssef Belgasem Ahmed (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya1:00:08
61Faysal Alsharaa (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya1:02:27
62Samuel Ekiru (Ken) Kenya1:03:27
63Mahmoud Mohamed Alaa Eddin (Egy) Egypt1:06:57
64Robert Tawedi Modi (Cmr) Cameroon1:07:20
65Sah Noel Tanessop (Cmr) Cameroon1:11:19
66Issa Ntibitura (Rwa) Rwanda1:15:25
67Gunther Cuylits (Bel) Flanders Avia Team1:18:49
68Trust Munangandu (Zam) UCI Continental Center1:19:30
69Amin Abdelrazag Alkilani (Lba) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya1:19:41
70Simeon Green (GBr) C.A. Castelsarrasin1:21:43
71Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 11:28:51
72Alex Bowden (USA) Team Type 11:33:26
73Eric Sinamenye (Rwa) Rwanda1:38:39
74Stradford James Helms (USA) Team Type 11:46:35

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