The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Niyonshuti Believes Time for Rwandans Will Come

AFTER yet another disappointing show, Rwanda national cycling team skipper Adrien Niyonshuti believes a Rwandan will win the Tour du Rwanda in future.

"I have high hopes in the younger riders and I believe they can do better than the older generation in future races (Tour du Rwanda).

"Right now the competition is being dominated by Eritrean and South African riders, who started competing in international events so many years ago. So you can't compare Rwanda to them but with time and better preparations, our time will come," Niyonshuti told Times Sport after this year's race on Sunday.

He added, "I thank all Rwandans for the support they gave us on all routes. We tried our best but the competition against the top guys on the continent was so intense. However, we shall continue trying until one day a Rwandan wins the competition."

The MTN Quabeka rider came in 9th position over all in a race which was won by Team South Africa rider Lill Daren, who clocked 22h43'41" over the 894.8km cycling race that spanned eight stages.

No Rwandan rider has ever won Tour du Rwanda since it was included on the International Cycling Union calendar in 2009 when Niyonshuti came in third position. In 2010 he finished in 7th position, while in 2011 he finished in 6th.

Among the upcoming riders to watch is 19-year-old Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who rode for Team Rwanda Akagera in this year's tour.

He was Rwanda's top finisher on stage six, Musanze-Rubavu on 7th position in a time of 01h22'42". He won the best aggressive rider Yellow and Black Jersey, while Nicodem Habiyambere, who finished 26th on the stage five, Muhanga-Musanze, won the Red Jersey for the best climber.

Other Rwandans in 2012 Tour du Rwanda:

Hategeka Gasore finished on 13rd position over all with a time of 22h59'11", Abraham Ruhumuriza finished on 15 after clocking 23h00'35" and Emmanuel Rudahunga finished on 16 with 23h00'37".

Nathan Byukusenge ended the tour on 17th position with time of 23h02'10", Hassan Rukundo in 18th place after clocking 23h02'14", on 20th position was Joseph Biziyaremye with a time of 23h05'52" and on 30th place was Nicodem Habiyambere, who used 23h21'44".

Janvien Hadi finished 31st in 23h30'51", Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva finished on 32nd position after clocking 23h32'36", on 35th Bonavanture Uwizeyimana with a time of 23h40'27" while Jacques Mbarushimana finished on 52nd position with time of 25h04'53".

Before Tour du Rwanda was included on the UCI calendar, Niyonshuti finished on 6th position in his debut in 2004, in 2005 he finished 7th, and he won in 2006, came 4th, in 2007 and won it in 2008 for the second time.

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