Stage 1 classification (115,6 km)
1. Brayan Sanchez (Team Medellin), 2h33'43" (Average speed: 45,122 km/h) 2. Alex Hoehn (Wildlife Generation), 2h33'43" 3. Weimar Roldan (Team Medellin), 2h33'43" 4. Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels), 2h33'43" 5. Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni Giocattoli) 2h33'43"
Skol Adrien Cycling Academy (SACA) rider Seth Hakizimana is optimistic about Rwanda's chances as riders take stage 2 of the ongoing Tour du Rwanda 2021 to Huye District in Southern Province.
The annual cycling tournament, which is in its 13th edition, generally features unpredictable racing where riding aggressively and attentively is essential.
Hakizimana, who represents local side SACA, was Rwanda's top performer, coming 14th in the opening stage which headed from Kigali to Rwamagana, while Renus Byiza Uwihirwe of Team Rwanda came in 15th place clocking the same time as stage winner Brayan Sanchez who rides for Colombian cycling team, Team Medellin.
Hakizimana said he is only focused on the next stage as he looks forward to winning the second stage in today's race.
"We cannot lose focus for a single second. Big groups can go and take huge advantages. We will work hard and also look for opportunities and try for a stage win," he said.
The riders will battle it out to a 120km distance to Huye, departing from Kigali at MIC building, downtown.
"Personally, I prepared well for this year's edition. My teammates and I are looking forward to racing on roads. We have the necessary experience in the team and we know what we want from this race. SACA, as a team, is always ambitious for better results," Hakizimana said
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Meanwhile, yellow jersey holder Brayan Sanchez riding for the Colombian Team Medellin opened his account at Tour du Rwanda as he sprinted to win stage 1 in Rwamagana on Sunday.
Reacting to his performance, Sanchez said, besides discovering the beauty of Rwanda, described some similarities of the roads to those from his home country, Colombia, saying that the win will motivate his performance through the week.
"My team and I were prepared for today's sprint but it was not me who had to finish. I finished in the best position because I was the fastest. It's going to be a very good week for us, we have come to win the final standings." he added
Helped by a perfect setup from teammate Alfonso Roldán Weimar, Sanchez w became the 7th Colombian rider to win a stage in Tour du Rwanda, crossing the line under pressure from Alex Hoehn (Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling).
Initially postponed in February due to the spike in covid-19 infections and death toll, Tour du Rwanda usually features plenty of climbing and competition at high altitudes, makes the race even harder.