Le 13/11/2016 à 15:54:00 | Mis à jour le 13/11/2016 à 15:54:51
C’est un Américain de 30 ans, Timothy Rugg, courant pour l’équipe continentale canadienne Lowestrates, qui a remporté le prologue du Tour du Rwanda ce dimanche dans les rues de Kigali.
L’américain a ainsi privé les milliers de supporters, amassés autour de l’Amahoro Stadium, d’une nouvelle victoire rwandaise comme ce fut le cas ces trois dernières années lors de cette première journée de course, devenue l’un des événements majeurs du pays depuis la création de l’épreuve en 2009.
Le premier français 14e
Timothy Rugg a devancé de deux secondes l’un des grands espoirs érythréens, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, qui porte les couleurs de la réserve de l’équipe World Tour Dimension Data mais aussi de quatre secondes l’ancien coureur de Cannondale, le Canadien Guillaume Boivin. Le premier français, Sébastien Fournet-Fayard, pointe à la 14e place à onze secondes du vainqueur en attendant les routes montagneuses durant toute la semaine à venir.
P. L.G., à Kigali
November 13th, 2016 by Tyler D’Arcy – Canadian Cycling Magazine
American Timothy Rugg of Gatineau-based Team Lowestrates.ca wins 2016 Tour du Rwanda prologue – Guillaume Boivin finishes fourth.
On Sunday, the eighth edition of the Tour du Rwanda got underway in the nation’s capital city of Kigali. The UCI 2.2 stage race is the last event on the UCI Africa Tour calendar for 2016. In total, 73 riders from 17 teams took the start line at the Amahoro Stadium for the 3.3km prologue including three Canadians. Guillaume Boivin of the Cycling Academy, and Gatineau, Quebec-based Team Lowestrates.ca members Cameron McPhaden and Stephen Keeping are all in Rwanda to contest the seven stage race.
American Timothy Rugg of the Canadian Team Lowestrates.ca finished the day with the fastest time completing the course in four minutes on the dot. “I had high hopes of getting in the top ten today,” said Rugg. “The win is really a nice surprise.”
Three seconds behind Rugg was Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eritrea/Dimension Data for Quebeka) in second place with Joseph Areruya (Rwanda/Les Amis Sportif) in third. Boivin of the Cycling Academy had a strong start to the Tour du Rwanda as well, finishing only four seconds back of the winners time in fourth. Also four seconds behind the winner in fifth position was the winner of the 2015 edition, Jean Bosco Nsengemana of Rwanda riding for Stadelli- Bike Aid.
Monday, November 14th, 2016
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) — American Timothy Rugg won the prologue as the eighth edition of Tour of Rwanda cycling race kicked off on Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali.
The rider of the Canadian Team LowestRates.ca left no chance for his rivals to win the 3.3 kilometer time trial.
He beat Eritrean Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier of South Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka after finishing 4 miniutes 0.25 seconds.
“Winning my first victory in Africa has much value for me,” Rugg told journalists at a press conference,”I stayed there [Africa] when I was young in Uganda and Kenya but I had never raced African cycling race. I do not know if I will be able to keep my yellow jersey but the long climbs like those of Rwanda are roads that benefit me.”
Rwandan Joseph Areruya finished in third place after using 4 minutes, 3.95 seconds.
The favourites of this 8th edition in Sunday’s prologue Jean-Bosco Nsengimana of Germany-based UCI Continental Team Stradalli Bike Aid, finished in fifth position on 4 minutes, 4.32 seconds while Valens Ndayisenga of the Dimension Data for Qhubeka and 2014 champion finished in sixth position in 4 minutes, 5.57seconds.
The event has attracted 70 riders, featuring 15 teams.
After the prologue, competition will resume on Monday with Stage 1 where the riders will race on Kigali-Ngoma road, a distance of 96.4 kilometers.
The championship will conclude on November 20 after covering a distance of slightly more than 819 kilometers in seven stages.
1 – Timothy Rugg (USA – Team Lowestrates.ca)
2 – Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea – Dimension Data for Qhubeka)
3 – Joseph Areruya (Rwanda – Les Amis Sportifs)
4 – Guillaume Boivin (Canada – Cycling Academy Team)
5 – Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda – Stradalli-Bike Aid) .
Tour du Rwanda excites Rusizi residents
By: PETER KAMASA
PUBLISHED: November 18, 2016
Lowestrates.ca rider chats with young cycling fans in Rusizi on Wednesday. (Faustin Niyigena)
For the first time in the history of Tour du Rwanda, the race reached Rusizi District in the Southern Province causing excitement among the area residents.
On Wednesday the annual UCI Africa Tour category 2.2 road race reached the furthest part of the country following the addition of two new routes; Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km) through Rwanda’s vast tropical rainforest of Nyungwe.
The third stage on Wednesday was taken by prologue winner, Timothy Rugg, who rides for Canadian side Team Lowestrates.ca after clocking 3h18’16’’ and was followed by Les Amis Sportifs rider, Joseph Areruya by a difference of two seconds. Race leader, Valens Ndayisenga finished the stage in 7th place.
“This is a great moment for the people of Cyangugu (Rusizi), we have waited for so long to see the tour come to our place, finally we are happy to see the riders with our own eyes and not to wait to see them on TV, ” said Casmus Niringiyimana, a resident of Rusizi.
Another resident, Samuel Karamaga, noted, “We are very excited about the race, but more especially that our riders are doing well, and even when we can’t follow them in every stage, we are all behind them, personally, I’m happy to see Tour du Rwanda for the first time and I can’t wait for next year.”
The two routes; Karongi-Rusizi (115.9km) and Rusizi-Huye (140.7km) are characterized by hills, mountains, sharp corners where riders have to be careful so that they don’t crash. The riders have to brace for the rains and chilly weather as they go through Nyungwe forest.
Since becoming an International Cycling Union (UCI) certified race, Tour du Rwanda has produced a different winner each year.
In 2014, Ndayisenga became the first Rwandan rider to win the Tour since its inception on the UCI Africa calendar in 2009, and was dethroned by teammate, Nsengimana.
However, both riders have since joined professional teams—the former signing for South Africa’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka while the latter, joined Germany-based Stradalli-Bike Aid.
Riders rank Tour du Rwanda high on UCI-Africa Tour
By: PETER KAMASA
PUBLISHED: November 19, 2016
Some of the riders participating in Tour du Rwanda 2016
Some of the top riders competing in this year’s Tour du Rwanda have admitted that the international race is one of the most competitive on the UCI-Africa Tour, after La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
The 8th edition of the annual category 2.2 road race started last Sunday and will reach its climax tomorrow after going through most parts of the country and covering a total distance of 819.1 kilometers.
The last two editions of the grueling week-long race saw Rwandan riders dominate the international event, but this year could be difficult as foreign riders want to make sure the title doesn’t stay in Rwanda for a third consecutive year.
The race overall leader, Valens Ndayisenga, winner of the 2014 edition, says; “Tour du Rwanda has become a really top level race and whoever wins deserves it because it’s a tough race and very hard to win.”
Tour du Rwanda, which became a UCI-Africa Tour race in 2009, is designed exclusively for cyclists competing at the international level, and it has had a different winner since the first edition.
Team Rwanda captain Nathan Byukusenge said; “Tour du Rwanda has helped Rwandan cycling to get known at the international level but it has also attracted many tourists to the country.”
“The race has moved from the initial local event to an international race, which is something good for our riders and our country,” added the 36-year-old rider, who plans to retire at the end of this year.
The prologue and stage four winner Timothy Rugg of Team LowestRates.ca from Canada says, “I am surprised by the atmosphere on the roads. There are so many people lining up the routes we pass.”
“There are many races in Europe or elsewhere, where there is no such organization and interest from the general public. I am proud to win here in Rwanda and able to win some stages,” noted the American, who is racing in Tour du Rwanda for the first time.
Canadian Guillaume Boivin, a former rider for Italian Cannondale Team before traveling to Israel this year for the Cycling Academy Cycling Team, went a step further than his rivals saying that Tour du Rwanda is probably the most competitive race on the continent.
85 riders for 2016 Tour du Rwanda
By: GEOFFREY ASIIMWE
PUBLISHED: November 08, 2016
A total of 85 cyclists from across the world will compete in next week’s 8th edition of the annual Tour du Rwanda, according to the organisers, the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY).
The 2.2 UCI-Africa Tour road race gets underway on November 13 and will run through November 20, attracting 17 teams, each fielding five riders.
Rwanda will be represented by three teams namely; Team Rwanda, Benediction Club and Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana.
Among the 17 teams include eight African national teams, Team Rwanda, Team Kenya, Team Cameroon, Team South Africa, Team Ethiopia, Team Eritrea, Team Egypt and Team Algeria.
“Each of the 17 teams has confirmed their participation and the five cyclists they will be fielding, we expect a total of 85 riders this year,” FERWACY president Aimable Bayingana told Times Sport in a phone interview on Monday.
The race will also have four UCI continental teams, which include Dimension Data For Qhubeka (South-Africa), Kenyan Riders Downunder (Kenya), Cycling Academy Team (Israel), and Stradalli-Bike Aid (Germany).
In addition, five clubs from different countries have confirmed their participation. They include Rwanda’s Les Amis Sportif de Rwamagana and Benediction Club (Rubavu district), as well as Team LowestRates.ca (Canada), Team Haute-Savoie Rhone-Alpes (France) and Team Furniture Decarte (Switzerland).
Canada’s LowestRates.ca were the first foreign team to arrive in Rwanda on Sunday.
The other teams are expected to arrive in the country to arrive this week.
Since 2009 when Tour du Rwanda became part of the UCI-Africa Tour, a total of 330 riders, representing 37 countries and five continents, have participated in the annual event.
Brett Wachtendorf from the LowestRates Cycling Team writes about dealing with deception and rising back up to prepare for his biggest challenge yet…
October 28th, 2016 – by Brett Wachtendorf
Refocusing and Finding Motivation
Driving back to Vermont after the Reading 120 was a long 6-hour journey. Thoughts of what could’ve been, what should’ve been, swirled in my mind, and continued to do so for the next day or so. You’ve seen it happen in the World Tour, riders going down because of a team car, neutral service, or even a moto referee. In my mind, the most infamous incident was during the 2011 Tour de France, Stage 9, when a French TV car swerved into the breakaway sending Johnny Hoogerland crashing into a barbed wire fence which lined the road. But that won’t happen to me, right?
Unfortunately it did, but I went head first into a tree. Now I was dealing with the aftermath; the mental agony. I was furious crossing the finish line, hopes dashed by an event out of my control. The following days I was a bit depressed. I was trying to see the bright side, and I did, but the negative thoughts lingered. I rode an absolutely amazing race. I was focused all day long and with my teammates supporting me, I was in position to be fighting for 10th place and best amateur rider, potentially putting the team and myself in the spotlight at a UCI race. I belonged there and I was determined to make a mark but it didn’t unfold that way.
“the crash left a small fire burning inside me”
The week following Reading was one of rest and recovery. I had potentially sustained a concussion (the doctor said it could’ve gone either way…). Active rest was indeed best. I went to work, started a new job, and rode maybe 6 hours all week. No problems to be reported. I was ready, physically, to get going for Rwanda. I had also been dealing with the mental side of things. I was writing back and forth with the referee that had caused me to crash and honestly, the guy was extremely upset by the incident. Knowing that nothing good would come from dwelling on the matter, I made sure he understood what all had been considered “lost” on my end and to learn from the mistake and move on. That was that. However the crash left a small fire burning inside me. My intrinsic motivation to push my limits weren’t satisfied with the result of Reading. Yes it had been my best UCI result to date, even with the crash. Many had told me 21st was awesome and that I did such a great job, but I just was not satisfied. It may sound arrogant but I knew I should’ve done better.
The taste of the spotlight, success on the horizon: this has been my motivation for Rwanda. This has been keeping me going while many begin their offseason.
The off-season can wait
Normally this time of year is filled with everything but the bike. It’s a time to catch up with friends, old and new, and enjoy life. It’s a time to indulge in things you normally wouldn’t because of training. It’s a time to recharge the mental battery in preparation for a seemingly endless winter preseason if you live in Vermont. For me, it’s also a time to work and make some money. With Rwanda however, that has not been the case. The Tour du Rwanda ends the 20th of November and my offseason will begin the 21st, nearly two months later than last year. So training continues and I find ways to make ends meet.
September, October and November have traditionally been times where I increase my work schedule to make more money and then I find the time to get the cycling work done. While I can’t say I haven’t done that this time, I will say it has been much more stressful, difficult, and shorter. I’ve worked less in order to find time for those midweek 5 hour days on the bike but enough to continue paying the bills. It’s a tough balance but you learn to use every minute of sunlight to get your training done. Negatives stress can affect strength both physical and mental when training, especially on the hard long efforts. Planning ahead has been one coping mechanism I’ve used for reducing stress. Knowing what I have to do that day and when I’m going to do it allows me to recognize that I’m not actually that busy, or maybe I am, but it’ll keep me focused and helps me stay on task. When I know what is going on and have a schedule, I’m relaxed and am able to focus my efforts on the task at hand. As I write this article however, I’m 100% training and focusing on the bike, so my schedule right now is a much more relaxed.
Training, The Tour, and Rwanda
After Reading, I spent about 4 weeks at home in Burlington, Vermont, training and working. Early in October, I left home to go train in Boulder, Colorado, what some consider the mecca of road cycling in the US. I chose Boulder for multiple reasons: Flights were cheap to Denver (the closest airport), I have free housing thanks to my girlfriend’s amazing parents, and finally Boulder is at an elevation of 1600m, which is the same elevation of the capitol of Rwanda, Kigali. I’ve been in Boulder for 2 weeks now and the effects of altitude are starting to subside and I’m able to produce the same effort levels at sea level. My training hasn’t been much different than what I’ve been doing during the year. I have however simulated the race once already and am currently in the process of doing a shorter simulation. Basically what a simulation consists of are intervals nearly everyday, the hilliest routes possible, speed work, and no rest. It’s like I’m racing the tour against myself.
The Tour du Rwanda is new territory for me, not just geographically. The duration of the stage race will be my longest event all year. 3 days longer than Tour du Beauce. I’m not sure how I will be feeling come the 6th, 7th , and 8th final day, but I’m confident I’ll be there. My goal is a top 20 on the General Classification, which means I need consistently good performances all 8 days. One bad day and that goal could become unachievable. Besides from the race being hard, I truly don’t know what to expect from the riders, but I’m okay with that. I can’t control my rivals so I won’t waste energy worrying about them. I’ll focus my energy on preparing for the race the best that I can. One thing I am looking forward to about the race besides the insane amount of climbing, is the similarly insane amount of spectators. I’ve seen the pictures and I can’t wait.
Off the bike, I hope the tour and my time in Rwanda will give me some perspective on the country, the world, and my own life. I enjoy reflecting and I think this experience will be a chance to do that in a whole new light. I’ve learned about the genocide while in school but I don’t think you feel the impact when you are sitting in a classroom. Similarly to other historic events, both good and bad, I don’t think one can truly feel the impact of an event until you set foot on the grounds where the events took place and you imagine yourself there. Moments like that don’t happen very often but they are powerful and I’m looking forward it. I’m also very excited to distribute the clothing and equipment collected from the Rwanda Velo Project. I’m excited to be helping out those that are in need and I hope that we can make a difference for the aspiring cyclists of Rwanda.
This is an exciting time. Rwanda is almost a mystery for me. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to it all. I will no doubt come home with amazing stories from both on and off the bike. For now, I’ll keep training hard, and come November 13th I’ll give it my all for 8 days.
Tour of Rwanda Photo credit: google image