Israel Cycling Academy rider Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas registered his first season’s victory after claiming stage four of the 2019 Tour du Rwanda on Wednesday in Karongi district.
Avila claimed stage four victory from Rubavu Disrict to Karongi over 102.6km after clocking 02h37’32” to win a bunch sprint beating Pablo Torres Muino of Interpro Cycling Academy.
Eritrea’s Sirak Tesfom completed the podium finish; coming three seconds later together with the best placed Rwandan Mugisha Samuel.
Munyaneza Didier of Benediction Excel Energy was the second Rwandan who finished inside the top ten in stage four as he placed a seventh-place finish to also finish tenth on the general classification.
Eritrea’s and Astana Pro team rider Merhawi Kudus retained the yellow jersey after placing 24th position in 02h43’15”.
Kudus, who is also the best ranked African, will head into stage five leading the general classification with a 17-minute gap between him and the second-placed Rein Taaramae of Direct Energie.
Kudus, a 2015 Tour de France participant with South African side Dimension Data, is the first rider to record back-to-back stage wins in Tour du Rwanda since 2011 when American Reijnen Kiel claimed the opening prologue and four stages in a row en route to winning the race.
Munyaneza heads into stage five as the best ranked Rwandan with a total time of 13h56’36, coming ahead of Areruya Joseph of Delko Marseille Provence and Valens Ndayisenga of Tour du Rwanda. As it is now and depending on the performances of foreign riders after stage four, there is no chance for any Rwandan to win the Tour du Rwanda.
With the frustrating performance, the 2017 Tour du Rwanda winner and reigning African Cyclist of the Year, Areruya has dropped further to 15th spot in general classification, level at 13h58’13” with Valens Ndayisenga who stands in 16th place.
The race heads to Musanze district on Thursday where the cyclists will ride the Kivu Belt road in a 138.7km Stage 5 from Karongi district. This stage is another climbing day and tough climbs early in the stage in Nyamuhebe, Rubengera, Congo Nil center and Gakeri could pose problems and split the race up early.
Karongi to Rubavu (102.6km)
Stage 4 Results
1. Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Israel Cycling Academy) -02h37’32”
2. Pablo Torres Muino (Interpro Cycling Academy) -02h37’32”
3. Sirak Tesfom (Eritrea) -02h37’35”
4. Samuel Mugisha (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) -02h37’35”
5. David Lozano Riba (Team Novo Nordisk) -02h37’37”
7. Didier Munyaneza (Benediction Excel Energy) -02h37’37”
8. Alessandro Fedeli (Delko Marseille Provence) -02h37’37”
9. Yakob Debesay Abreham (Eritrea) -02h37’37”
10. Yuriy Natarov (Astana Pro Team) -02h37’41”
1. Merhawi Kudus (Astana Pro Team) -13h48’19”
2. Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie) -13h48’36”
3. Matteo Badilatti (Israel Cycling Academy) -13h49’04”
4. Hernan Ricardo Aguiree Caipa (Interpro Cycling Academy) -13h49’19”
5. Sirak Tesfom (Eritrea) -13h52’33”
6. Awet Andemeskel (Israel Cycling Academy) -13h52’48”
7. David Lozano Riba (Team Novo Nordisk) -13h52’59”
8. Suleiman Kangangi (Kenya) -13h53’15”
9. Yakob Debesay Abreham (Eritrea) -13h56’36”
10. Didier Munyaneza (Benediction Excel Energy) -13h56’36”