Winner of stage one, Federov is also a rider to watch
Winner of stage one, Federov is also a rider to watch

Kazakh rider Yevgeniy Federov on Sunday won the first stage of the road cycling race of the Tour du Rwanda in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali.

The 2020 Tour du Rwanda first stage kicked off with a 114.4km stage from Kigali Arena in the capital city to Rwamagana district and back to Kigali Arena.

Federov needed just 2 hours, 44 minutes and 59 seconds to finish the stage, his first win in the Rwanda cycling race.

“I am so excited about winning stage one. This has motivated me to work hard and win other remaining stages,” Federov said.

It was his first stage victory in Rwanda, having participated in the 2019 Tour du Rwanda where he finished without winning a single stage.

Eritrean Mulueberhan Henok and Hailu Biniam finished in second and third place in 2:45:14 and 2:45:17 respectively.

Federov will wear the Yellow Jersey on Monday during stage two that will start from Kigali Arena to Huye District, in Southern Province, a race that will cover 120.3km.

In total, the 12th edition of Tour du Rwanda will cover a distance of 899 kilometers, and will reach all four provinces of the country.

The race comprises 34 climbs, with a combined elevation of 17.025km.

This year marks the second time the tour is held under the UCI 2.1 category since its upgrade from 2.2 last year, according to the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY).

Tour du Rwanda has become the biggest annual sporting cycling event in Rwanda and in the region, Abdallah Murenzi, FERWACY president, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the event.

“Tour du Rwanda continues to inspire young Rwandans to develop cycling talent and be able to compete on the international scene,” said Murenzi.

“We are proud of the fact that Tour du Rwanda has been able to attract participants from across the World,” added Murenzi.

The 12th edition of the Tour du Rwanda, an international race since 2009, kicks off Sunday and will climax on Sunday, March 1.

The race has attracted 16 teams and a total of 80 riders representing from a record 26 countries and regions.

Of the 16 teams taking part this year, Rwanda is represented by three teams, including the national team – also known as Team Rwanda – that comprises three former winners of the race. Enditem

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