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Eritrean Yakob Debesay wins the penultimate stage as compatriot Kudus nears Tour du Rwanda triumph



19-year old Eritrean Yakob Debesay proved his prowess in riding in hilly terrains as he scooped the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour du Rwanda that ended in Kigali on Saturday afternoon.

The rising youngster who had finished second on the opening stage on Sunday last week was well prepared for a podium finish on Saturday as he established a solo attack in the early in the race which saw him clinch a deserved victory despite slippery roads and chilly weather conditions in Kigali.

Debesay finished the 84.1km race 02h12’35” beating stage one winner Fedeli Alessandro from Delko Marseille Provence by 12 seconds after the latter posted 02h12’56” while Guillonnet Adrien of Interpro Cycling Academy came third also clocking o2h12’56”.

A total of 64 riders started the 84km of stage six out of 78 riders that started the race and after 11km, a total of 14 riders led by Rohan du Plooy of Pro Touch and Moise Mugisha of Team Rwanda established the first breakaway opening a 28” lead on the chasing bunch.

Six kilometers, 2015 Tour du Rwanda winner later Jean Bosco Nsengimana who was part of the breakaway tried to attack from the breakaway but was quickly brought out back.

Moise Mugisha who went into this stage as the KOM get off well as he claimed the first KOM points of the day that were after 20km beating Guillonnet Adrien of Interpro Cycling Academy and Araújo Bruno of Bai Sicasal Petro De Luanda.

39km later, Rohan du Plooy who also started this stage in the best sprinter jersey took again the points for the first intermediate sprint before Debesay Abreham Yakob of Eritrea took the second KOM points of the day that were after 50.4km.

After 52km, Debesay Abreham established a solo attack from the breakaway opening a 45” lead before scooping the third KOM points of the day 65.2km, Yellow jersey holder Merhawi Kudus along with second placed Taaramae Rein established an attack from the peloton which was 1’25” behind with the final 10km.

Heading into the final kilometer, Debesay was leading the breakaway with 50 seconds before heading to a solo victory and the second one for Eritrea team in this year’s Tour du Rwanda.

Meanwhile his compatriot Merhawi Kudus retained the yellow jersey however he faces a fierce competition to protect in the final stage on Sunday after his closest contender Taaramae Rein from Direct Energie reduced the gap on the General Classification to only seven seconds from seventeen seconds.

Heading into the gruesome final stage on Sunday, Kudus leads the GC with 22h38’21” while Taaramae comes second with 22h38’28” while Mateo Badilatti from Israel Cycling Academy has aslo reduced his deficit on the top spot which now stands on only 18” from 45” having so far used 22h38’39”.

On the final on Sunday, the riders will tussle down a 61.7km most gruesome stage around Kigali which will comprise two-laps on the famous cobbles.