ERITREA’s Daniel Teklehaimanot yesterday proved his class after winning the nine-stage tour of Rwanda in 29 hours, 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
On top of walking away with the coveted yellow jersey, the 21-year-old, who rides for Swiss club Chervelo Club, also won the orange jersey (best young rider) and green jersey for amassing the most points over the 1119.1km race.
Fellow compatriot Natnael Berhane Teweldemedhin was 56 seconds behind in second position, while South Africa’s Janse Reinardt took the final podium slot after using 29 hours, 4 minutes and 43 seconds.
Last year’s winner Jelloul Adil came in fourth place, two minutes and 19 seconds off the pace.
Yesterday’s stage 9 race was another disappointing day for Rwanda’s top rider Adrien Niyonshuti after his bicycle’s left tyre burst towards the final 5km costing him valuable minutes.
But the 23-year-old MTN Energade rider refused to blame anyone for the predicament insisting that it was just bad luck.
“I have been racing on this bicycle for so many competitions and it is the first time I have experienced flat tyres. I think it is just bad luck at the end of the day,” a frustrated Niyonshuti said.
Niyonshuti‘s tyre also burst during stage 7 (Karongi to Huye) costing him the yellow jersey in the process.
It has been an eventful year for Teklehaimanot, who also won this year’s African continental cycling championship. For his Tour of Rwanda victory, the rider pocketed Rwf10.7m (1350 euros).
Niyonshuti meanwhile pocketed Rwf0.3m for emerging as the best Rwandan.
Eritrea also won the team category after five of their six man team finishing in the top ten of the general classification.
Rwanda Tour 2010 concludes with victory of Eritrean National Cycling Team
In the concluding phase of the Rwanda Tour 2010 today, Eritrean cyclist Frekalsi Debessai, who won silver medal in the All-Africa championship 2007, stood first by finishing 3 hours and 12 seconds.
In the 120 km. race which involved two uphill competitions, the French cyclist who competed with Eritrean cyclist Frekalsi stood second, while Eritrean cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot ranked third.
Accordingly, the African Champion, cyclist Daniel finished the race holding the yellow, white and green jerseys.
Similarly, Eritrean cyclist Natnael Berhane finished as the King of Mountain title. At national level, Eritrea retained its first rank in the Rwanda Tour 2010 surpassing the second rand holder namely that of South Africa.
The success which the Eritrean cyclists scored drew broad attention on the part of various world media outlets, reports indicated.
Tour of Rwanda
Stage 9 results
1) D.Frekalsi (ERI) 03:12:06
2) S. Guy FLA (BEL) 03:12:10
3) D.Teklehaimanot (ERI) 03:12:10
4) A. Niyonshuti (RWA) 03:12:10
5) A. Jelloul (MAR) 03:12:10
15) N.Byukusenge (RWA) 03:12:25
1) D.Teklehaimanot (ERI) 29:02:32
2) N.Teweldemedhin (ERI) 29:03:28
3) J.Reinardt (S.A) 29:04:43
4) A.Jelloul (MAR) 29:04:51
8) A.Niyonshuti (RWA) 29:07:17
13) N.Byukusenge (RWA) 29:23:57
22) G. Hategeka (RWA) 30:00:09
25) E. Rudahunga (RWA) 30:07:08
26) O.Ruvogera (RWA) 30:09:50
29) U. Nyandwi (RWA) 30:22:22
30) J.D Uwimana (RWA) 30:26:07