French rider Alexandre Geniez, 33, from team Total Energies 3 hours, 12 minutes and 14 seconds to claim stage five of Tour du Rwanda— a 129km race from Muhanga-Musanze.
By winning Stage Five, Geniez recorded his second stage victory in the going 14th edition of the Rwandan your (2.1 Category African tour).
Geniez sprinted fastest in the last 50 meters to beat off the challenge of compatriot and B&B Hotel rider, Pierre Rolland, as well as Rwandan and Benediction Ignite rider, Eric Manizabayo by 19 seconds.
“I am really happy, this was my stage and I had to use the energy I had reserved during the course to sprint well to the finish line, this was my day and I am very excited,” Geniez said after the race.
In the general classification, Spain’s Angel Ruiz Madrazo who rides for Burgos-BH now leads the rest of the pack and is followed by Eritrean Natnael Tesfazion who rides for Androni Gio while.
The Burgos BH cyclist completed a spectacular day, defending his position and attacking in the final part to take the lead in the race.
A cut of up to 14 riders with Ángel Madrazo revolutionized the stage, again with several demanding climbs on the way to Musanze. The Spaniard took advantage of the movement of Geniez and Rolland to control the times from behind, reaching the finish line fifth and taking the lead tied on time with Tesfazion (Drone Hopper).
Ángel Madrazo: "The race was uncontrollable again. There was a group of 30 in which Mario Aparicio and I were able to get into. Then he knew how to manage the race situation very well, complicated, with several favorites trying to leave and he putting a hunting rhythm. Going up the pass, we controlled the movements of the rest and on the final slope I started to try to set time and be able to dress as the leader".
On the local perspective, Rwandan cyclists once again put up a spirited performance with one finishing third in Musanze.
19-year-old Team Rwanda rider Eric Muhoza is now eighth in General Classification. He finished the stage in 13th place, 20 seconds behind the stage winner after clocking 3 hours 12 minutes and 34 seconds.
Muhoza was also recognised as the best Rwandan rider in stage five while Nsengimana was crowned as the best climber of stage five.
Moise Mugisha (ProTouch) and Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Benediction Ignite) finished in the 15th and 19th places respectively.
“It’s been a good day for Rwandan riders,” Muhoza told the press after the race, “With just a minute and some seconds behind the leader in the general classification, there is hope that a Rwanda can win this year’s tour du Rwanda,”
1. MADRAZO RUIZ ANGEL- (BURGOS-BH) 13:57:52
2. TESFAZION NATNAEL -(DRONE HOPPER - ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) 13:57:52
3. BUDIAK ANATOLII-(TERENGGANU POLYGON) +”16
4.MULUEBERHAN HENOK (BIKE AID) +”07
5.EWART JESSE (BIKE AID)+”13
1. Alexander Geniez - Stage Winner by Amstel Malt
2. Ángel Madrazo- Yellow jersey by visit Rwanda
3. Jean Bosco Nsengimana 33 points - King of the Mountain by Cogebanque
4. Alexandre Geniez (8pts )- Dark Blue jersey (Intermediate Sprints) by SP Rwanda
5. Nataniel Tesfazion 13h57’52" -Blue sky and yellow jersey (Best young rider) by Prime Insurance
6. Muhoza Eric (Rwanda) 13h59’28"- White Jersey (Best Rwandan Rider) by Forzza Gaming
7. Nataniel Tesfazion 13h57’52" - Green and white jersey (Best African rider) by RwandAir
8. Pierre Rolland - Orange, Green and White jersey (Combativity) by Horizon Express
9. Drone Hopper Androni Gio 41h59’04" - White and Blue sky jersey (Team Classification) by Inyange Industries.