Date: Tuesday, 21 February 2023
It was the Eritrean and African champion Henok Mulubrhan (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), 23, who won the 3rd stage of the Tour of Rwanda in Musanze. At the end of the 199.5 kilometres, he sprinted ahead of the Belgian WIlliam junior Lecerf and the Ukrainian Anatoliy Budyak (Terengganu Polygon)
Henok Mulubrhna, 3rd on the 1st stage, 2nd on the 2nd, also takes command of the general
20 kilometers from the finish, we found the breakaway of the day with Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda Selection), Marc Oliver Pritzen (EF Education-NIPPO Development Team) and James Fouché (Bolton Equities Black Spoke). The latter then have one minute and twenty seconds on a reduced peloton
But the trio got along well, but that did not prevent the group of 9 men from returning on the final climb (2.8 kilometers at 6%) despite strong resistance from Fouché. .
Henok Mulubrhan then launched his sprint from afar and won in front of William Junior Lecerf.
Classification of the 3rd stage of the Tour of Rwanda
1 Henok Mulubrhan Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè 0:00
2 William Junior Lecerf Soudal – Quick-Step Devo Team,,
3 Anatoliy Budyak Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team,,
4 Víctor de la Parte TotalEnergies
1 Henok Mulubrhan Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè 11:20:59
2 William Junior Lecerf Soudal – Quick-Step Devo Team ,,
3 Anatoliy Budyak Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team 0:02
4 Víctor de la Parte TotalEnergies 0:07
5 Walter Calzoni Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team 0:11
6 Dawit Yemane Bike Aid,,
7 Metkel Eyob Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team,,
8 Logan Currie Bolton Equities Black Spoke,,
9 Eric Muhoza Bike Aid,,
10 Pepijn Reinderink Soudal – Quick-Step Devo Team
Henok Mulubrhan has won the third stage of the Tour du Rwanda, a stage in which there was a lot of climbing. The Belgian William Junior Lecerf ( Soudal Quick-Step Development) finished second, the Ukrainian Anatoliy Budyak was third. Mulubrhan is also the new leader.
The first stages of the Tour du Rwanda ended in a sprint and were won by Ethan Vernon , but on day three it was up to the climbers. In the second part of the 199.5 kilometer long ride, the necessary hills had to be conquered, including the climb to Kiviruga (7.1 km at 6.5%). From the top it was still about 25 kilometers to the line, but the last three kilometers also went up at almost six percent.
In the flat opening phase we saw a leading group of three gather a gigantic lead. Marc Oliver Pritzen (EF Education-NIPPO Development), Jean Bosco Nsengimana (Rwanda selection) and James Fouché ( Bolton Equities Black Spoke ) had already cycled together for ten (!) minutes after thirty kilometers and then even extended to twelve minutes. Despite Israel-Premier Tech having taken the initiative by now, the three started the first climbs of the day by that margin.
Nsengimana, the 2015 overall winner of the Tour du Rwanda, left his fellow refugees there. He was the first on top of some slopes, but would later be caught by Fouché and Pritzen. Then the home rider was left behind. There had also been a separation in the peloton. For example, classification leader Ethan Vernon had to release early. Carl Fredrik Hagen ( Q36.5 ) then had to retire after a crash.
Mulubrhan the strongest
The initially big lead of Fouché and Pritzen quickly diminished in the final, but the former managed to hold on for a long time. He started the final climb alone. The Australian was chased by a group of nine, including the Dutchman Pepijn Reinderink, the Belgian William Junior Lecerf (Soudal Quick-Step Development ) and the Eritrean Henok Mulubrhan (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè).
Mulubrhan, who has already achieved third and second place in recent days, proved to be the strongest of the select group on the final climb. After Fouché was caught, he sprinted with conviction to the stage victory. Lecerf and the Ukrainian Anatoliy Budyak (Terengganu Polygon) finished in second and third place, Reinderink was tenth.
Froome limits damage
Chris Froome , who was not in the chasing group at the foot, was able to limit the damage. The two-time Tour winner crossed the line in 34 seconds in 22nd place. He was thus the best rider of Israel-Premier Tech . After the third stage, Froome is twentieth in the general classification, 42 seconds behind Mulubrhan.