Tour of Rwanda: Areruya sprints to victory in Musanze

Former Team Rwanda athlete Joseph Areruya was the first Rwandan to win a UCi race at the Baby Giro

Former Team Rwanda athlete Joseph Areruya was the first Rwandan to win a UCi race at the Baby Giro (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

In the first bunch sprint of the 2017 Tour of Rwanda on stage 3, Joseph Areruya erased the previous day’s disappointment of losing the yellow jersey by taking the win over Edwin Avila (Team Illuminate) into Musanze. The Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider enjoyed his second win in three days after his solo effort into Huye on Monday.

Team Illuminate's Simon Pellaud retained the yellow jersey by placing fourth in the bunch sprint after a chaotic finale to the short and fast stage. Inside the final kilometre, a large crash towards the back of the bunch cut the peloton in half but without any effect on the GC favourites.

Pellaud has one-minute advantage over Areruya, while 2016 champion Valens Ndayisenga (Tirol) remains third at 1:17 after placing 22nd in the sprint.

After Pellaud silenced the home crowds with his stage and yellow jersey haul in Rubavu, the patriotic Rwandan crowds were again in full voice for Areruya in Musanze.

"Today I am much happier than yesterday because today I win the stage. That is why I am very happy," said Areruya, feeding off the energy of the boisterous crowds in the cycling hotbed of Musanze.

The day started with an aggressive approach by Dimension Data for Qhubeka, with Areruya explaining the team plan was to attack Pellaud after the race leader admitted that he did not expect to hold yellow after Musanze.

"Today the plan was to target the time of the guy who has the yellow jersey but it was not good. I was there in the front and then there were attacks and the bunch caught us. Then I tried to tried to win the stage," said Areruya, adding that Pellaud has proven to be a worthy adversary.

"I think I am not stronger than him because he showed us he is strong."

With a solo win and bunch sprint victory, Areruya has showcased his characteristics thus far in his national tour, but the 21-year-old is doubtful of his chances for a third win, which would see him joining Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Kiel Reijnen as the only riders to have won three stages or more in one edition of the race.

"The first stage, it is my favourite stage because last year I also win there. That is why I am very happy with this stage. I can try. I don't think I can win again, but I hope," he said.

For Pellaud, the first experience of a leader's jersey was a day to remember and savour.

"It was amazing. Sometimes we saw the yellow jersey gives you wings and today it gives wings not only to me, but also to all our team. My teammates did a great job. We are just three riders here and I had the feeling we were nine or ten riders pulling for me," he told Cyclingnews.

With the top ten unchanged following stage three, stage 4 from Nyamata is expected to see a GC shake-up with Pellaud pragmatic about his chances of retaining yellow.

"We saw this morning when I entered the climbs that the best climbers are far in front of front of me. The stage tomorrow is three long climbs and it will be very hard to control. We will fight for it but we don't think of yellow," he said.

How it unfolded

The peloton rolled out for four laps of the Rubavu circuit, which took the riders within a few hundred metres of the Congo border in the west. At the départ réel, the skirmish to establish the breakaway was kicked off by Dimension Data for Qhubeka, and Stefan De Bod and Samuel Mugisha went on the offensive in the company of Brett Wachtendorf ( and Adne Van Egelen (Bike Aid).

On the technical circuit, their lead was holding firm at 30 seconds on lap two. On the third lap, the lead was out to 50 seconds with Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Club Benediction) and Ephrem Tuyishimire (Les Amis Sportifs) trying to bridge across.

Once out of the circuit and onto the road east to Musanze after 35km of racing, however, the early break was caught, and a new group of eight was established following more aggressive racing in the bunch. De Bod, Mugisha, and Van Engelen were joined by Areruya, Didier Munyameza (Rwanda National Team), Kibrom Giday, Natnael Mebrahtom and Saymon Musie Mehari of the Eritrea national team.

Across the hilly parcours, the leaders pulled out one minute on the bunch and continued to lead over the day's sole categorised climb. On the fast and technical descent into Musanza, the organised peloton cut the advantage as a bunch sprint looked an increasingly likely outcome. Behind the breakaway, Illuminate and Rwanda National Team were pulling the strings.

Despite late attacks, including one from Pellaud, the peloton was back together for the final kilometre. Areruya then repeated his formidable win in Huye and finished off the job for Dimension Data for Qhubeka, but was unable to double up with the yellow jersey as Pellaud held firm.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka2:23:25
2Edwin Avila (Col) Team IlluminateRow 1 - Cell 2
3Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Simon Pellaud (Swi) Team IlluminateRow 3 - Cell 2
5Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data For QhubekaRow 4 - Cell 2
6Valentin Goudin (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone AlpesRow 5 - Cell 2
7Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Nikodemus Holler (Ger) Bike AidRow 7 - Cell 2
9Ephrem Tuyishimire (Rwa) Les Amis SportifsRow 8 - Cell 2
10Aron Debretsion (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data For QhubekaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Matthieu Jeannes (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone AlpesRow 11 - Cell 2
13Salim Kipkemboi (Ken) Bike AidRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jean Claude Uwizeye (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Joshphat Gathiambo (Ken) Kenyan Riders SafaricomRow 14 - Cell 2
16Amanueal Tsegay (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Suleiman Kangangi (Ken) Bike AidRow 16 - Cell 2
18Kent Main (RSA) Dimension Data For QhubekaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Adne van Engelen (Ned) Bike AidRow 18 - Cell 2
20Cameron Piper (USA) Team IlluminateRow 19 - Cell 2
21Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Tirol Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Saymon Musie Mehari (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Club BenedictionRow 23 - Cell 2
25Tamrat Meresa Gebrewahd (Eth) Ethiopia National TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Samuel Mugisha (Rwa) Dimension Data For QhubekaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Eric Nduwayo (Rwa) Club BenedictionRow 28 - Cell 2
30Redwan Ebrahim (Eth) Ethiopia National TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Azzedine Lagab (Alg) Algeria National TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jean Claude Mfitumukiza (Rwa) Les Amis SportifsRow 31 - Cell 2
33Samuel Hakiruwizeye (Rwa) Les Amis SportifsRow 32 - Cell 2
34Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Lowestrates.Ca0:05:37
35Olivier le Court de Billot (Mri) Mauritius Equipe NationalRow 34 - Cell 2
36Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Jimmy Uwingeneye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:09:32
38John Kariuki (Ken) Kenyan Riders SafaricomRow 37 - Cell 2
39Abderrahmane Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Islam Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Janvier Rugamba (Rwa) Les Amis SportifsRow 40 - Cell 2
42Fiseha Gebremariam (Eth) Ethiopia National TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Sylvain Clavel (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone AlpesRow 42 - Cell 2
44Sébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone AlpesRow 43 - Cell 2
45Nicolas Roux (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone AlpesRow 44 - Cell 2
46Geoffrey Langat (Ken) Bike AidRow 45 - Cell 2
47Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Club BenedictionRow 46 - Cell 2
48Jules Cusson Fradet (Can) Lowestrates.CaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Edward Greene (RSA) Lowestrates.Ca0:09:39
50Tedros Redae (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:09:48
51Yannick Lincoln (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:12:33
52Cameron Mcphaden (Can) Lowestrates.CaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Andrew Kimutai (Ken) Kenyan Riders SafaricomRow 52 - Cell 2
54Stephen Keeping (Can) Lowestrates.CaRow 53 - Cell 2
55Yacine Hamza (Alg) Algeria National TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Moran Vermeulen (Aut) Tirol Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Alexandre Mayer (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:19:18
58Matthew How Saw Keng (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:19:19
59Christopher Rougier-Lagane (Mri) Mauritius Equipe NationalRow 58 - Cell 2
60Cornelius Kipkemboi Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:19:54
61Mehdi Lounis (Alg) Algeria National TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Alex Nizeyimana (Rwa) Club BenedictionRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kelvin Kipng'etich Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders SafaricomRow 62 - Cell 2
64Daniel Knapp (Aut) Tirol Cycling TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jean Damascene Ruberwa (Rwa) Club BenedictionRow 64 - Cell 2
66Samuel Oros (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica0:21:19
67Martin Vlcák (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica0:28:16
68Kibrom Giday (Eth) Ethiopia National TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
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Mountain 1, km 65.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea National Team10pts
2Saymon Musie Mehari (Eri) Eritrea National Team6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kibrom Giday (Eth) Ethiopia National Team3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) Rwanda National Team1Row 3 - Cell 3
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dimension Data For Qhubeka7:10:15
2Team IlluminateRow 1 - Cell 2
3Eritrea National TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rwanda Equipe NationaleRow 3 - Cell 2
5Bike AidRow 4 - Cell 2
6Les Amis SportifsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ethiopia National TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:09:32
9Club BenedictionRow 8 - Cell 2
10Algerie Equipe Nationale0:19:04
11Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:22:05
13Tirol Cycling Team0:32:27
14Maurice Equipe Nationale0:37:28
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General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Pellaud (Swi) Team Illuminate10:13:47
2Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:01:00
3Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Tirol Cycling Team0:01:17
4Suleiman Kangangi (Ken) Bike Aid0:01:21
5Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:01:25
6Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:01:29
7Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Matthieu Jeannes (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:01:30
9Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:01:38
10Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:02:15
11Kibrom Giday (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:03:19
12Nikodemus Holler (Ger) Bike Aid0:03:36
13Kent Main (RSA) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:04:42
14Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Club Benediction0:04:47
15Salim Kipkemboi (Ken) Bike Aid0:04:48
16Jean Claude Uwizeye (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:05:55
17Ephrem Tuyishimire (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:06:17
18Adne van Engelen (Ned) Bike Aid0:06:20
19Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:10:02
20Azzedine Lagab (Alg) Algeria National Team0:10:12
21Samuel Mugisha (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:10:18
22Aron Debretsion (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:10:19
23Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:10:23
24Saymon Musie Mehari (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Lowestrates.Ca0:10:27
26Amanueal Tsegay (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:10:29
27Tamrat Meresa Gebrewahd (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:10:34
28Eric Nduwayo (Rwa) Club Benediction0:10:42
29Valentin Goudin (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:10:52
30Jean Claude Mfitumukiza (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:11:08
31Olivier le Court de Billot (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:11:33
32Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Club Benediction0:14:37
33Cameron Piper (USA) Team Illuminate0:15:38
34Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:18:18
35Joshphat Gathiambo (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:18:56
36Redwan Ebrahim (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:22:03
37Sylvain Clavel (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:25:07
38Christopher Rougier-Lagane (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:25:18
39John Kariuki (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:25:32
40Fiseha Gebremariam (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:28:11
41Geoffrey Langat (Ken) Bike Aid0:28:41
42Edward Greene (RSA) Lowestrates.Ca0:29:00
43Sébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:29:11
44Edwin Avila (Col) Team Illuminate0:29:32
45Moran Vermeulen (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team0:30:08
46Janvier Rugamba (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:30:15
47Jean Damascene Ruberwa (Rwa) Club Benediction0:30:56
48Islam Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National Team0:33:11
49Tedros Redae (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:33:22
50Jimmy Uwingeneye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:36:20
51Jules Cusson Fradet (Can) Lowestrates.Ca0:39:28
52Yannick Lincoln (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:40:04
53Alexandre Mayer (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:42:18
54Daniel Knapp (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team0:44:38
55Cameron Mcphaden (Can) Lowestrates.Ca0:45:04
56Andrew Kimutai (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:45:29
57Alex Nizeyimana (Rwa) Club Benediction0:47:29
58Abderrahmane Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National Team0:48:42
59Stephen Keeping (Can) Lowestrates.Ca0:51:32
60Samuel Hakiruwizeye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:55:01
61Cornelius Kipkemboi Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:58:40
62Yacine Hamza (Alg) Algeria National Team1:04:33
63Kelvin Kipng'etich Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom1:09:12
64Nicolas Roux (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes1:09:17
65Matthew How Saw Keng (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National1:14:00
66Mehdi Lounis (Alg) Algeria National Team1:16:38
67Martin Vlcák (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica1:17:44
68Samuel Oros (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica1:39:50
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Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Edward Greene (RSA) Lowestrates.Ca28pts
2Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Rwanda National Team15Row 1 - Cell 3
3Samuel Hakiruwizeye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea National Team10Row 3 - Cell 3
5Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka9Row 4 - Cell 3
6Redwan Ebrahim (Eth) Ethiopia National Team9Row 5 - Cell 3
7Saymon Musie Mehari (Eri) Eritrea National Team7Row 6 - Cell 3
8Jimmy Uwingeneye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs7Row 7 - Cell 3
9Simon Pellaud (Swi) Team Illuminate6Row 8 - Cell 3
10Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) Rwanda National Team4Row 9 - Cell 3
11Kent Main (RSA) Dimension Data For Qhubeka4Row 10 - Cell 3
12Suleiman Kangangi (Ken) Bike Aid3Row 11 - Cell 3
13Kibrom Giday (Eth) Ethiopia National Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Ephrem Tuyishimire (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Tirol Cycling Team2Row 14 - Cell 3
16Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea National Team1Row 15 - Cell 3
17Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo (Rwa) Rwanda National Team1Row 16 - Cell 3
18Sébastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes1Row 17 - Cell 3
19Janvier Rugamba (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs1Row 18 - Cell 3
20Jean Damascene Ruberwa (Rwa) Club Benediction1Row 19 - Cell 3
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African rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka10:14:47
2Valens Ndayisenga (Rwa) Tirol Cycling Team0:00:17
3Suleiman Kangangi (Ken) Bike Aid0:00:21
4Patrick Byukusenge (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:00:25
5Tesfom Okubamariam (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:00:29
6Didier Munyaneza (Rwa) Rwanda National TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Metkel Eyob (Eri) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:00:38
8Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:01:15
9Kibrom Giday (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:02:19
10Kent Main (RSA) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:03:42
11Gasore Hategeka (Rwa) Club Benediction0:03:47
12Salim Kipkemboi (Ken) Bike Aid0:03:48
13Jean Claude Uwizeye (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:04:55
14Ephrem Tuyishimire (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:05:17
15Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:09:02
16Azzedine Lagab (Alg) Algeria National Team0:09:12
17Samuel Mugisha (Rwa) Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:09:18
18Aron Debretsion (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:09:19
19Natnael Mebrahtom (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:09:23
20Saymon Musie Mehari (Eri) Eritrea National TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Amanueal Tsegay (Eri) Eritrea National Team0:09:29
22Tamrat Meresa Gebrewahd (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:09:34
23Eric Nduwayo (Rwa) Club Benediction0:09:42
24Jean Claude Mfitumukiza (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:10:08
25Olivier le Court de Billot (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:10:33
26Bonaventure Uwizeyimana (Rwa) Club Benediction0:13:37
27Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo (Rwa) Rwanda National Team0:17:18
28Joshphat Gathiambo (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:17:56
29Redwan Ebrahim (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:21:03
30Christopher Rougier-Lagane (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:24:18
31John Kariuki (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:24:32
32Fiseha Gebremariam (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:27:11
33Geoffrey Langat (Ken) Bike Aid0:27:41
34Edward Greene (RSA) Lowestrates.Ca0:28:00
35Janvier Rugamba (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:29:15
36Jean Damascene Ruberwa (Rwa) Club Benediction0:29:56
37Islam Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National Team0:32:11
38Tedros Redae (Eth) Ethiopia National Team0:32:22
39Jimmy Uwingeneye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:35:20
40Yannick Lincoln (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:39:04
41Alexandre Mayer (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National0:41:18
42Andrew Kimutai (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:44:29
43Alex Nizeyimana (Rwa) Club Benediction0:46:29
44Abderrahmane Mansouri (Alg) Algeria National Team0:47:42
45Samuel Hakiruwizeye (Rwa) Les Amis Sportifs0:54:01
46Cornelius Kipkemboi Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom0:57:40
47Yacine Hamza (Alg) Algeria National Team1:03:33
48Kelvin Kipng'etich Kiplagat (Ken) Kenyan Riders Safaricom1:08:12
49Matthew How Saw Keng (Mri) Mauritius Equipe National1:13:00
50Mehdi Lounis (Alg) Algeria National Team1:15:38
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Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rwanda Equipe Nationale30:46:24
2Dimension Data For Qhubeka0:01:53
3Bike Aid0:04:42
4Eritrea National Team0:17:08
5Club Benediction0:25:02
6Ethiopia National Team0:26:53
7Les Amis Sportifs0:31:39
8Haute Savoie Auvergne Rhone Alpes0:32:00
9Team Illuminate0:40:07
10Maurice Equipe Nationale1:06:56
12Tirol Cycling Team1:11:00
13Kenyan Riders Safaricom1:24:29
14Algerie Equipe Nationale1:26:50

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