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Rising African star: Rwandan cyclist Joseph Areruya wins La Tropicale Amissa Bongo

Rising African cycling star Joseph Areruya, 22, has made history as the first Rwandan to win the biggest cycling race on the UCI-Africa Tour, the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, which concluded in Gabon on Sunday. The Rwandan is the third African to win the Tropicale and the first to achieve this performance with the jersey of his national team. Congratulations on the remarkable feat.



Joseph Areruya is now the most successful Rwandan cyclist in the history of Union Cycliste Internationale Cycling 2.1 race.The young and talented Rwandan rider won the 13th Tropicale Amissa Bongo. He is the current and simultaneous holder of both the Tour du Rwanda and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo titles.

The Rwandan is the third African to win the Tropicale after the Eritrean Natnael Berhane in 2014 and the Tunisian Rafaa Chtioui in 2015 but he is the first to achieve this performance with the jersey of his national team. These two predecessors had won with the support of their professional team.

Areruya led the race after his victory in stage 4 and went on to win this year’s edition in a total time of 23 hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds. Helped by his teammates Didier Munyaneza, Jean Damascène Ruberwa and Jean Paul René Ukiniwabo, Areruya managed to keep the yellow jersey for three days, despite facing stiff competition from Nikodemus Holler, the rider for Germany-based UCI Continental Team Bike Aid.

“I obviously had a little apprehension at the start because everything can happen on a stage. But my teammates did a lot of work at my side, they went to the end of their strength to help me keep my yellow jersey. I thank them very much for this great victory,” Areruya said.


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Holler finished second, with Damien Gaudin (Team Direct Energie) of France coming in at third overall, in a time of 23 hours, 53 minutes and 14 seconds. Koshevoy Ilia (Team Wilier-Triestina) took fourth place, in a time of 23 hours, 54 minutes and 15 seconds. Australian Brenton Jones (Team Delko Marseille Provence) completed the top five in 23 hours 59 minutes and 51 seconds.

Areruya’s career wins includes becoming the third Rwandan to win the Tour du Rwanda in November 2017, after Valens Ndayisenga in 2014 and 2016 and Jean Bosco Nsengimana in 2015, and to win a stage in Giro d’Italia in the European UCI race in the same year.

La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is the first race on the UCI-Africa Tour calendar. The focus now shifts to next month’s UCI-Africa Continental Road Championship, which is set to take place from 13 to 18 February in Rwanda.


Areruya is professional with the South African Dimension Data for Qhubeka Development team since 2017.

10 past winners of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo:
2018: Joseph Areruya (Rwanda)
2017: Yohann Gène (France)
2016: Adrien Petit (France)
2015: Rafaâ Chtioui (Tunisia)
2014: Natnael Berhane (Eritrea)
2013: Yohann Gène (France)
2012: Anthony Charteau (France)
2011: Anthony Charteau (France)
2010: Anthony Charteau (France)
2009: Mathieu Ladagnous (France)