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Eritrean Natnael Mebrahtom wins opening state of Tour de l’Espoir, Areruya finishes 4th

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Eritrean cyclist Natnael Mebrahtom won his first inaugural Tour de l’Espoir stage with a victory in the opening 92 km in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Natnael clocked 02h25’13’ to take the yellow jersey, 24 seconds ahead of his teammate Selemun Zemenfes in second position.

Moroccan rider Chokri El Mehdi was third a second ahead of Rwandan cyclist Joseph Areruya who came 4th with a time of 02h25’48’.

Another Moroccan El Kouraji Mohcine was5th, ahead of South African rider Louise Visser, while the other Rwandan cyclists Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo managed to came in the top ten finishing 7th but teammate Didier Munyaneza and Samuel Hakiruwizeye finished a distant 18th and 19th respectively.

The Tour de l’Espoir is a four-stage race with a total distance of 417 kilometers, while the cyclists will head for the 147km from Idenau to Douala on the second day of the tour due on February 1st on Thursday.

The third day will cover 101.8km, and goes from criterium in Yaounde before concluding with the last 80.5km stage from Akono to Yaounde.

The best two cyclists in this inaugural Tour de l’Espoir will qualify for the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir in France, a race considered as the U23 version of the well-known Tour de France

A total of 15 teams from 15 countries are competing in this race namely; Rwanda, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mali, Mauritius, South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam and Tunisia.




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