Africa's top-rated cyclist Joseph Areruya has yet again proved why he is country's sportsman of the year after winning his first Individual Time Trial (ITT) title of the national championships on Saturday afternoon in Nyamata, Bugesera district.
The 22-year old reigning Tour du Rwanda and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo added another victory to his growing dominance, ending a two-year dominance of Rwanda's most decorated rider Adrien Niyonshuti who had won ITT titles in the last two editions.
The former Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider who currently plies his trade at Delko-Marseille Provence KTM in France, was the fastest rider on the afternoon after covering the 41.8km in a total time of 54 minutes and 38 seconds.
The 2017 Giro d'Italia U23 stage winner beat to the title Jean Bosco Nsengimana by 29 seconds.
The 2015 Tour du Rwanda winner Nsengimana who rides for Rubavu-based Club Benediction, posted 55:07 to settle for a second place while Cycling Club for All (CCA) star Camera Hakuzimana (58:46) finished in third position.
"Sincerely, I didn't give myself a chance to win today, I expected Bosco (Nsengimana) to win it because of his vast experience and unrivaled track record in ITT events. I never doubted myself but I thought I would finish second or third," a visibly excited Areruya told Sunday Sport in a post-race interview in Nyamata.
Asked about his chances to win the road race scheduled for today, Areruya explained that; "It's a possibility that I have to give my all to make it happen, there is no doubt it will be a tough contest. All riders are strong and have prepared for this race, it's everyone's dream to be called a national championship. I would be the happiest man to win a double."
In the juniors' category yesterday, Rnus Byiza Uhiriwe from Muhazi Cycling Generation won the title after clocking 35:59 to cover the 25 kilometres ITT distance. Jackline Tuyishimire from Club Benediction took the women title after posting 41:39 - same distance.
Meanwhile, today's road race gets underway at 9am and will cover a distance of 75km (6 laps) in women's race, 100km (8 laps) in juniors and 150km (10 laps) in men's elite & U23 category.
The 12.5-kilometre lap itinerary starts from Amahoro national stadium through Kimironko to Kibagabaga hospital via MTN Center to RDB headquarters and then back to Amahoro stadium.
Gasore Hategeka from Nyabihu cycling club is the defending champion in the elite category while Eric Manizabayo from Club benediction holds the juniors' title.
Les Amis Sportifs de Rwamagana's Beata Ingabire is the women's crown holder.
Road Race: Kigali - Kigali 9am
Amahoro stadium - Kimironko - Kibagabaga hospital - MTN
- RDB - Airtel - Amahoro stadium: 1lap (12.5km)
Men's elites & U23: 12 laps - 150km
Juniors' men: 8 laps - 100km
Women: 6 laps - 75km
Individual Time Trial
Men's elite & U23, top three
1. Joseph Areruya - 54:38
2. Jean Bosco Nsengimana - 55:07
3. Camera Hakuzimana - 58:46
Juniors, top three
1. Rnus Byiza Uhiriwe - 35:59
2. Jean Claude Nzafashwanayo - 36:19
3. Yves Nkurunziza - 36:24
Women, top three
1. Jackline Tuyishimire - 41:39
2. Violette Irakozeneza - 42:28
3. Xaverine Nirere - 42:30