Yes, it was not a big chance anymore at the evening before the last stage to win the GC but the chance was still there. Small, but there. Jean-Bsoco Nsengimana was only 1:27 minutes behind Valens Ndayisenga (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) raking on 4th place in the GC. And on this hard course in Kigali it was for sure possible to attack and bring a gap between the others, that the dreams still were alive.
With that in mind, Jean-Bosco wanted to give all he had one more time and try all to win the stage and bring some time between him and the rest of the contenders. And he got all the support from his teammates to make this dream come true.
But then, already in the decisive period of the race when all the GC contenders broke away to fight among each other it got loud in Radio Tour: "BIKE AID, BIKE AID for Nsengimana, rear-wheel!" The shock was there! Mechanical problem in the worsed of all possible moments! The guys did what they can, as fast as they could to resolve the psoblem, but in such a moment when the race is gonna be decided and you drop out, you'll never come back again!
Jean-Bosco tried all he can - he was exhausted after he crossed the finish line but it should not be his time. He made it "just" on 22nd place with 3:41 minutes down on the winner Tesfom Okubamariam from Eritrea who won the sprint out of a 3men group with Valens Ndayisenga - the leader of the tour -and his compatriot Metkel Eyob.
At the end, Jean-Bosco lost 5 places in the GC and finsihed the 2016 editio of Tour of Rwanda on 9th place. Still top ten, still a good result but when you aim to win the race or at least finish on the podium, it is a huge disappointment especially for Jean-Bosco Nsengimana!
But still the Tour was a great adventure again for the guys from Stradalli-BIKE AID even without the right result at the end. We want to thank all fans from Rwanda very much who made this journey unforgettable with the unique atmosphere they created - unbelievable!
We'll be back in 2017 and hopefully with a bit more luck!
photo credits: Kigali Today