A nation. A history. Surely not the easiest history, but what this generation of Rwandan's showed as emotion today, was much more we can even describe with words. Effusive, frenetic, even rollicking are the words we could try to describe this atmosphere today with and the fans cheered the riders on the "wall of Kigali" - an incredibly steep hill of 17 % in the middle of Rwanda's capital.
Pictures that yoou never would expect in Germany or Europe - the so called "traditional cycling countries". But those pictures are real. The pictures in the same way as all the emotions. Not just people standing there watching an event that just pases by - no, not at all. These people are fans, enthusiatsic and real fans of the sport - the sport of cycling and their heroes - the riders.
"After I worked a lot today I was in one of the last gruppettos to save my energy for tomorrow but when I saw these people cheering us that way, I gave all I had again to climb this hill. I just felt I owe it to those people who came here, waited so long and now deserve that everybody gives the same as they did - incredible! I would love to see such pictures in Germany again", Matthias Schnapka explained after the race - obviuosly still flashed from such a lot emotion today.
But what happened in front of the race? Exactly one year ago it was Jean Bosco Nsengimana who won at the same place in solitude and secured the overall win of Tour du Rwanda 2015. And now? This year the dominator is Valens Ndayisenga. The man from Team Dimension Data - also Rwandan (and overall winner 2014) - climbed with an incredible performance and won the stage in front of his team mate Metkel Eyob from Eritrea.
Jean-Bosco Nsengimana finished in 8th place just 20 seconds down on Valens, and moved 1 place up in GC and now ranks 4th overall classification.
Just one more stage to go in Kigali tomorrow on a quite hard circuit race and the Tour du Rwanda 2016 will be in the books again. We are sure that the atmosphere will be great again!
photo creits: Kigali today