Samuel Mugisha today won his first stage on the Tour du Rwanda for his third participation. At only 20, this slender young athlete is no longer a stranger to the Rwandan public for having already animated the stages during his first appearance in 2016 when he had long been missed during the fourth stage that was exactly arriving in Huye as today.
On that day he had dropped his other companions in the last climb to go alone to Huye. But he had been caught by the peloton just one kilometer before the finish line where Joseph Areruya had won the first international victory of his career.
Today Samuel Mugisha has acted with more maturity and background in the South African professional team Dimension Data for Qhubeka with whom he has just won the classement of the best climber of the Tour du Val d’Aoste in Italy reserved for the best world U23 riders.
Today, he attacked before Huye, almost the same place as two years ago but has kept his lead of twenty seconds to the end. «It’s a great pleasure for me to finally win at home, he said. It was not easy because with Jean-Claude Uwizeye next door and the Ethiopian that I didn’t know; there was danger to the end».
The young Ethiopian Mulu Haylemichael, just 19 years old, is racing here his first race outside his country and his audacity today when he followed the two Rwandans in the second climb of the day after only fifteen kilometers, suggested that it would run out quickly.
He did not provide any help to the two Rwandans who worked very well together, and for that reason he became a threat to the two compatriots. Samuel Mugisha did not want to take risks and so decided to attack before the finish to avoid being trapped like in 2016.
He took at the same time of the leader’s yellow jersey that the Algerian Azzedine Lagab arrived 27th with the peloton at 3’26”, could not defend on this too mountainous roads for him.