Kazakh Yevgeniy Fedorov, first winner

23 February 2020 at 22:00  

Never before has a rider from Kazakhstan to Central Asia won a stage of the Tour of Rwanda. At only 20 years old, the young rider of the Vino-Astana Motors team managed this great performance today around Kigali on the first day.

The break of the day was formed only after 9 kilometers with three riders: Yevgeniy Fedorov, the Rwandan Renus Uhiriwe and the Mongol Maral-Erdene Batmunkh.

These 3 escapees quickly understood their interest to combine well together in order to take a maximum advantage on this first stage with 114 kilometers on the programme. Together, they played the game perfectly to create a big gap.

After 40 kilometers they had a 7-minute lead on the peloton which had not really reacted yet, probably convinced that the 3 escapees could quickly show signs of weakness.

We had to wait for the return to Kigali in the climb of Kabuga at 24 kilometers from the finish to see the beautiful cohesion of the three leading riders crumble. The first to let go was the Mongol Batmunkh followed by the Rwandan Uhiriwe who could not follow the acceleration of the Kazakh Fedorov. Further behind the peloton had started to organize the chase and was only 3 minutes away.

Fedorov started the last lap of the circuit with great courage. The succession of the last two climbs was very painful for him but he resisted the return of the peloton led by the Eritreans who found a perfect route for their climbing qualities.
They were closed to get back on Fedorov who still had a 15-second lead over the first rider of the peloton, Eritrea’s Henok Mulueberhan.

Kazakh rider Yevgeniy Fedorov confirms his good start to the 2020 season as he has already won the first stage of the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia two weeks ago to finish 2nd in the final classification.

He has scored the first points today on this 12th Tour of Rwanda which promises to be very contested. He knows that the road to the last stage next Sunday in Kigali is still very long.

Tomorrow he will wear the yellow leader’s jersey at the start of the 2nd stage between Kigali and Huye for a distance of 120.5 kilometers.