25-year old Jhonatan Valencia Restrepo on Friday yet gain proved his prowess as he completed a hatrick of Tour du Rwanda stage wins with stage six victory.
Following his stage three (Huye-Rusizi) and stage five (Rubavu-Musanze), the Colombian international who riders of UCI Pro Team Androni Giocattoli won the 127.3km stage six from Musanze to Muhanga in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 32 seconds ahead of Schelling Patrick (Israel Start-Up nation) and Julian Quintero (Terengganu) who also posted the same time.
Second placed Moise Mugisha from Skol Adrien Cycling Academy put on a strong performance finishing just 1’43” well ahead of yellow jersey holder Natnael Tesfazion to narrow the gap to only 1’08”.
The race got underway with four riders Carlos Oyarzun (BAI), Dusan Rajovic (Nippo), Pim Ligthart (Total Direct Energie) and Stepan Astafyev (Vino-Astana) attacking in he first 2km to open a 10” lead on the peloton before being joined by Didier Munyaneza (Benediction Ignite) and Suleimani Kangangi (Bike Aid).
Munyaneza claimed the first KOM points (category 2) after 8km. After 14km, the troo of Munyaneza, Hentalla Jonas (Novo-Nordisk) and Ourselin Paul launched n attack with a lead of 25”.
Henttala won the first intermediate sprint after 22.4km before Munyaneza scooped the second KOM points (category 2).
After 37km, Dusan Rajovic (Nippo) made a solo attack and 5km later, he was leading the peloton with 55”. The average speed in the first hour was 39.5km/hr.
Quintero Carlos Julian from Terengganu took the third KOM points (category 1) after 51.5km beating off Hailemicheal of Nippo-Delko.
After71km, four riders were in the breakaway and these included Julian Quintero (Terangganu), Schelling (Israel Start-Up nation), Samuel Mugisha and Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni) were being followed by a group of seven riders that included yellow jersey holder Tesfazion and second placed Moise Mugisha.
Quintero took the second intermediate sprint of the day that was after 76km beating the duo of Schelling and Mugisha.
After 83km, the breakaway was leading the chasing bunch with 24”, and after 92km, the lead was up to 36” before stretching further to 1’10” after 96km.
After 99km, Biniam Girmay (Nippo-Delko) attacked from the yellow jersey group that was behind 1’35” the leading group.
Heading into the final 15km, the leading trio was ahead of the yellow jersey chasing group by 1’45”.
As the race entered the final 2km, Restrepo was ahead of the leading trio before well sprinting to the finish line to claim his third stage victory.
Stage six Musanze-Muhanga (127,3 Km) awards’ list
1.Stage Winner: Restrepo Valencia Jhonatan(Androni Giocatolli)
2.Yellow Jersey: Tesfazion Natnael(Eritrea National Team)
3.Best Sprinter: Yamane Dawit (Eritrea National Team)
4.Best Climber: Oyarzun Carlos (Bai Sicasal-Angola)
5.Best Young Rider: Tesfazion Natnael(Eritrea National Team)
6.Best Combative Rider: Patrick Schelling (Israel Start Up Nation)
7.Best African: Natnael Tesfazion(Eritrea National Team)
8.Best Rwandan: Mugisha Moise (SACA Team)
9.Best Team: Androni Giocatolli (Italy)
Meanwhile after five stages upcountry, the race will return to Kigali tomorrow for a 4.5km Individual Tim Trial (ITT) that will get under way at 2pm local time starting from Nyamirambo and finishing at the famous wall of Kigali.