Rider Abner Umba, who plays for Italian Team Androni Giocattoli, has claimed the yellow jersey of the ongoing Tour du Rwanda after putting up a stunning performance during stage 2 of the race on Monday, May 3.
The Colombian now leads the race, two seconds ahead of stage 1 winner Brayan Sanchez (Team Medellin).
The 22-year-old crossed the finishing line in Huye, six seconds behind B&B Hotels' rider Boileau Alan who clocked three hours seven minutes and 14 seconds to win Kigali-Huye stage whose distance 120.5 kilometres.
Under pressure from Umba, Brayan Sanchez (Team Medellin) and Vahtra Norman (Israel start-up nation), the Frenchman made a breakaway from Nyanza and never looked back.
After impressing in stage two, Umba warned that each of his Androni teammates is capable of winning a stage, adding that his team will continue to fight for the yellow jersey till the end.
"We have a good strategy, we want to win every stage and we will do our best to do so. However, the main objective is to protect the yellow jersey. I thank my teammates because, without them, I would not be wearing the yellow jersey," Umba said.
"I am confident we can keep up this spirit until we win this Tour du Rwanda," he added.
Bad day for Rwandan riders
The Kigali-Huye stage didn't go the way Rwandan riders planned, especially for Tour du Rwanda 2017 winner, Joseph Areruya, who pulled out of the race after his 'favorite' racing bike was damaged.
After dropping out, the elite rider's coach Benoit Munyankindi said "We changed his bicycle because but he refused because his body was not ready for the race any longer. Things didn't work for us."
While foreign riders continue to dominate the podium, no Rwandan has made it to the top five as local riders are struggling to quickly respond well to the race's pressing.
However, there is still hope for better results if the likes of Team Rwanda' Renus Byiza Uhiriwe, who is just two seconds off to the yellow jersey holder, continue to push in the next stages.
Except Areruya, all the riders taking part in this year's cycling tournament resume their race on Tuesday, May 4, from Nyanza to Gicumbi in a third stage that covers a distance of 171, 6 Km.
Stage Two Classification
1. Boileau Alan (B&B Hotels) 3h7'14" 2. Umba Lopez Abner Santiago (Androni I) 3h7'20" 6" 3. Sanchez Vergara Brayan Steven (Team Medellin) 3h7'22" 4. Vahtra Norman (Israel Star-Up Nation) 3h7'22" 5. Marchand Gianni (Tartelleto) 3h7'22" "
1. Umba Lopez Abner Santiago (Androni Giocattoli) 5h41'3" 2. Sanchez Vergara Brayan Steven (Team Medellin) 5h41'5" 2" 3. Hoehn Alex Wildlife (Generation Pro) 5h41'5" " 4. Restrepo Valencia Johnathan (Androni Giocattoli) 5h41'5" 5. Pacher Quentin (B&B Hotels) 5h41'5" " 10. Renus Byiza Uhiriwe (Team Rwanda) 5h41'5"