Gasore Hategeka has thanked his Nyabihu Cycling Club teammates for supporting him throughout the 2018 season in his bid to win this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup title, which he achieved at Amahoro Stadium on Saturday.

Just like last year, Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider Samuel Mugisha won the final race of the year-long championship after covering the 159.3km distance from Kigali to Nyamata in 4 hours and one second.

The Italy-based youngster, 20, was followed by Mathieu Twizerane, who finished one second behind, while France-based Vales Ndayisenga, a two-time Tour du Rwanda champion, finished in third position, 40 seconds behind Mugisha.

Gasore, 31, became the first rider to win the coveted Rwanda Cycling Cup twice following his 2016 triumph. Jean Bosco Nsengimana, who finished fourth in Saturday’s race, won the inaugural edition in 2015, while Patrick Byukusenge claimed it last year.

“The whole team were incredible this year, without their tireless support this was impossible. My victory is down to teamwork, nothing mor,” said Gasore.

In the men’s junior category, Bernabe Gahemba won the 105.4km race in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 40 seconds, and was followed by Jean Pierre Niyonshuti who finished five seconds late. Albert Mugisha (2:43:48) completed top three.

In the women’s category, in-form Jacqueline Tuyishimire proved too strong for the rest of the peloton as she covered the 105.4km in 3 hours and 55 seconds, a whopping 4 minutes and 38 seconds ahead of first runner-up Valentine Nzayisenga.

Diane Ingabire (3:06:26) finished third.

Winners of the season

Besides the individual award as the cyclist of the 2018 domestic season, Gasore also inspired Nyabihu Cycling Club to lifting the team of year award.

Rubavu-based Benediction Club were the 2017 winners of the award.

Moise Mugisha from SKOL Fly cycling Team was awarded as U23 best rider of the year 2018.

Teenage rider Eric Muhoza, who represents Rwamagana-based Les Amis Sportifs, was awarded as the best junior rider of the 2018 Rwanda Cycling Cup, while Benediction Club’s Nzayisenga dethroned Beatha Ingabire to win the female cyclist of the year award.