TOUR DU RWANDA. STAGE 2. FIRST WIN OF MERHAWI KUDUS FOR ASTANA PRO TEAM
The Astana newcomer in 2019, Merhawi Kudus scored his first victory in the jersey of the Kazakh team. Today, Merhawi won the second stage of the Tour du Rwanda after strong teamwork on the final climb of the day.
This is my second race of the season for Astana and it has been amazing so far. After the disappointment of yesterday with the crash in the final, today it was great because we got the stage victory. It’s hard for us to control the race, as everyone’s looking at us in this race and we are only four. But on the final steep climb I was able to go clear away and with 1 kilometer to go I found myself alone up there in front of the race. I just continued pushing hard to make it to the finish line. Today, I got the chance and I won. That’s great! I’m very thankful for the support of my teammates and all the staff, – said Merhawi Kudus.
Stage 2 of the Tour du Rwanda took off from Kigali to finish in Huye after 120.3 kilometers of racing. After yesterday’s crash in the last 100 meters, this time there was more luck for Merhawi Kudus. With the support of his team he was able to take off on the final climb of the day, to finish solo just in front of a few smaller groups. Rodrigo Contreras finished fifth in the first group behind Kudus, while the young Kazakh rider Yuriy Natarov was 10th.
After today’s victory Merhawi Kudus is now leading the race with still 6 stages to go. Astana moved up into the lead in the team classification.
Tomorrow, the race will continue with stage 3 from Huye to Rubavu (213.1 kilometers