Israeli road race champion Itamar Einhorn on Monday, February 19, crossed the finish line of Tour du Rwanda Stage 2 in Kibeho, Nyaruguru District, with plenty of time to celebrate his convincing win from the bunch sprint at a distance of 129,4 kilometers.

Einhorn, 26, moves into the race lead and will wear the leader’s yellow jersey going into Tuesday’s Stage 3 from Huye to Rusizi.

As expected, the Muhanga-Kibeho route was dominated by the sprint, which the Israel-Premier Tech rider won after clocking three hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds.

Tour du Rwanda was heading to Kibeho for the first time, with none among the riders donning the yellow jersey after the times used the times used during the Team Time Trial on Sunday, in the First Stage, were set aside.

On Monday, three riders, Alexandre Mayer of Mauritius, Shemu Nsengiyumva of May Stars and Didier Munyaneza of Team Rwanda, broke away from their teammates at the second kilometer, leading the race until they entered Nyaruguru District.

Munyaneza won the first sprint point that started in Ruhango at 21 kilometers, under pressure from Mayer and Nsengiyumva.

By the 50th kilometers in Nyanza, the trio had already opened a seven-minutes-and-50-second gap between them and the peloton.

The gap started to close at 60km in Rusatira, where the group had started to work hard to reduce the time being thrown by the three front runners. When they reached the 63rd kilometer, there were many players who fell in the group, including Rwandans and Eritreans.

With only 10 kilometers to go, Eric Manizabayo of Team Rwanda broke away from the group in an attempt go solo at the front, after passing Milan Doine of Lotto-Dstny who had caught Mayer on the way up to Maraba, but he was quickly caught back by Lennert Teugels of Bingoal WB.

But things changed all of a sudden when Einhorn left the peloton to chase the print which he eventually won, beating the likes of William Junior Lecerf and Pepijn Reinderink, both from Soudal Quick-Step, and Javier Serrano Rodriguez of Team Polti Kometa to the finish line in the Holy Land of Kibeho.

With the victory, Einhorn became the first Israeli to win a stage in Tour du Rwanda. He is also the Israel National Road champion for the last two years.

Team Eritrea’s Merhawi Kudus, who is chasing his second Tour du Rwanda victory after winning the race in 2019, finished in the top 10.

The third stage will start from Huye and will end at Rusizi.

There will be 140.3 kilometers to tackle with various altitude difficulties: in the first 67 kilometers of the stage, the runners will have to tackle the Nyamagabe climb, followed by those of Kaganza, and then climb Gashwati, Nyungwe and Pindura.

Riders will have to overcome the Pindura gap, then they will descend to attack the Bumazi climb, 7.3 kilometers long with an average gradient of 5.1% and whose summit is located less than 14 kilometers from the end, with several runners who will be able to test the legs in view of the following stages.

Source: The Newtimes Rwanda

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