KIGALI, Rwanda, Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rwanda is jubilant, as a 15-man team won Africa's most competitive cycling race - the Tour du Rwanda. The gruelling weeklong race saw Rwandan riders dominate the international event – raising the bar for other sportspersons from across the globe.
Jean Bosco Nsengimana, 22, of Team Karisimbi won the 7th edition after clocking 23:54:50 in the 933.8km long competition on November 22.
This year's winner of Tour du Rwanda set a new record of 1 hour and 3 minutes less compared to 2014. Last year Valens Ndayisenga, also a Rwandan, rode to the finish line for 24:57:10.
The Rwanda national team of 15 cyclists is subdivided into 3 teams including; Akagera, Muhabura and Karisimb.
Joseph Areruya of Team-Akagera snatched the second position while Camera Hakuzimana of team-Muhabura won the 3rd place of the tournament.
Sixteen countries, including United States, Italy, France, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Spain and Uzbekistan were represented. Eritrea emerged ranking 2nd best on the continent after South Africa.
Eritrea's Mekseb Debesay won the 119km smooth flat route into Eastern Rwanda and two more flat routes of the 7 stages.
Eritreans performed excellently on most flat routes. Team-Rwanda capitalised on defending Nsengimana's Yellow Jersey, which he had won in stage 2.
Rwanda's champion Nsengimana succeeded in cycling across the slippery steep cobblestone road; while other cyclists failed and had to carry their bikes, to the amusement of spectators.
Team-Rwanda's excellent performance is attributed to overwhelming home support including President Paul Kagame's personal encouragement.
"We will ensure that you are not lacking in anything that you need to perform better," Kagame promised Team-Rwanda after they won the 2014 Tour du Rwanda.
Just before the 2015 tournament began, Kagame donated 23 Pinarello Dogma bicycles worth $14,000 each. He also contributed for the teams' training locally and abroad; in US, France and Brasil.
"Rwanda's team has a big advantage. I was shocked when I saw their bikes-Pinarello brand like the one of Mr. Chris Frome, winner of Tour de France2015," said Alnord De Leum, South African Team Manager.
When Team Rwanda won this years' Tour du Rwanda, each cyclist carried a placard with the inscriptions, "We thank you Mr. President."
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SOURCE KT Press