The Eritrean who rides for German team Bike Aid-Ride for Help powered his way uphill from Nyabugogo through Kimisagara to Kigali Regional Stadium where the stage ended, putting to use his climbing abilities to win his second stage of the tour.
Mekseb has undoubtedly proved to be the best climber of this tour and he did not disappoint when it mattered most, scaling up the uphill finish which constitutes the last 5km of the stage which is generally relatively flat.
The German-based rider emulated his countryman Eyob Metkel who claimed the same stage last year. Mekseb used 03h14’06’’ for the 125.7km stage which passed through Huye, Nyanza, Ruhango, Muhanga & Kamonyi before entering Kigali.
Another Eritrean Dawit Haile, who rides for Team Eritrea came in 2nd and Team Karisimbi’s Jean Bosco Nsengimana took 3rd position while Yellow Jersey holder Valens Ndayisenga came in 4th, enough for him to keep the coveted jersey.
Stage 5 winner Joseph Biziyaremye was unfortunate to sustain a puncture towards the end and despite Bonaventure Uwizeyimana handing him his bike, it was too late for the 26 year-old to catch up with the fast moving peloton a 21st position finish.
The puncture subsequently affected his General Classification ranking, moving him from 3rd position into 4th position behind Aron Debretsion.
The Eritrean who competes for Team AS.BE.CO now has a time difference of 1 minute 27 second between him and Yellow Jersey holder Ndayisenga.
Debretsion will have to mount the biggest of challenges to take the yellow jersey from a consistent Ndayisenga during the last stage of the tour-the 7th, covering Kigali City.
The riders will do a 9-lap course covering 108Km from Amahoro National Stadium through Remera, RDB Nyarutarama and back to Amahoro. The same stage last year was won by Algerian Azzedine Lagab.
Having kept the yellow jersey for the 5th record time, Ndayisenga has made Rwanda’s chances of winning the tour for the first time ever since it became international, more real than ever.
It is highly likely that even in an event of any calamity, a very consistent Nsengimana will rise to the occasion where Ndayisenga will fail, but most likely the yellow jersey holder will go through the last stage cautiously to rewrite history books.
1. Mekseb Debesay, Bike Aid-Ride for Help, 3h14’ 06’’
2. Dawit Haile, Eritrea, 3h14’ 08’’
3. Nsengimana Jean Bosco, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 3h14’ 08’’
4. Ndayisenga Valens, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 3h14’ 11’’
5. Salaeddine Mraouni, Morocco, 3h14’ 13’’
6. Buru Temesgen, Ethiopia, 3h14’ 17’’
7. Bintunimana Emile, Rwanda-Akagera, 3h14’ 20’’
8. Byukusenge Patrick, Rwanda-Akagera, 3h14’ 20’’
9. Thomas Terrettaz, Meuble Decarte, 3h14’ 20’’
10. Gebremariam Fiseha, Ethiopia, 3h14’ 20’’
1. Valens Ndayisenga, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 22h13’ 16’’
2. Jean Bosco Nsengimana, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 22h14’ 09’’
3. Debretsion Aron, Team Eritrea, 22h14’ 43’’
4. Joseph Biziyaremye, Rwanda-Karisimbi, 22h14’ 57’’
5. Patrick Byukusenge, Rwanda-Akagera, 22h15’ 11’’
6. Salaeddine Mraouni, Team Morocco, 22h15’ 21’’
7. Buru Temesgen, Team Ethiopia, 22h15’ 21’’
8. Amanuel Million, Team Eritrea, 22h15’ 35’’
9. Thomas Terrettaz, Team Meuble Decarte, 22h15’ 35’’
10. Merak Berhane, Team AS.BE.CO Cycling Team, 22h15’ 41’’