Eritrean Daniel Habtemchael won the second stage of the under-23 Tour de L’espoir, which started in Idenao and ended 147km away in Douala, Cameroon, yesterday.
Habtemchael beat Rwandan Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo in the final dash for the line in a time of 3:41:32. Mauritian Gregory Rougier-Lagane soloed home in third.
South African Louis Visser finished ninth, with teammate Aidan van Niekerk placed 19th.
Team coach Bonga Ngqobane commended his team for supporting general classification leader Visser, which enabled him to finish in the top 10 in both stages.
“The team is doing really well overall, despite the harsh weather conditions,” Ngqobane told In the Bunch today. “Aidan and Mornay [van Heerden] did well to protect Louis.
“Joshua [Francis] and Carl [Bonthuys] both did a good job covering the other attackers just before the big climb about 36km in.”
Daniyal Matthews, who finished in 31st spot, was also impressive, said Ngqobane. “I take my hat off to the young man.
“He is very inexperienced and this is his first African road race as an under-23. He put in a lot of work and still managed to finish ahead of a bunch in the middle of the line-up.”
The team still had their sights set on a stage victory, said Ngqobane, but he admitted it would not be easy.
“All the countries are working really hard against one another. It will be difficult, but we are remaining positive and strong.
“I’m really proud that Visser is currently in sixth on the general classification. We have a really inexperienced team and they are doing a great job.”
Ngqobane said Van Heerden was involved in a crash towards the end of stage one, but that no serious injuries were sustained.
View more results below.
1. Daniel Habtemchael (Eritrea) 3:41:32
2. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo (Rwanda) 3:41:32
3. Gregory Rougier-Lagane (Mauritius) 3:42:10
4. Nadjib Assal (Algeria) 3:42:26
5. Zemenfes Selemun (Eritrea)
6. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda)
7. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco)
8. Natnael Mebrahtom (Eritrea)
9. Louis Visser (South Africa)
10. Henok Mulueberhan (Eritrea)
11. Hoang Thai Phan (Vietnam)
12. Samuel Hakiruwizeye (Rwanda)
13. Abdelraouf Bengayou (Algeria)
14. Didier Munyaneza (Rwanda)
15. Khaled Kammoun (Tunisia)
1. Natnael Mebrahtom (Eritrea) 6:07:39
2. Zemenfes Selemun (Eritrea) 6:08:02
3. El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) 6:08:12
4. Joseph Areruya (Rwanda) 6:08:14
5. Mohcine El Kouraji (Morocco) 6:08:18
6. Louis Visser (South Africa) 6:08:19
7. Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo (Rwanda) 6:09:41
8. Paul Daumont (Burkina Faso) 6:10:43
9. Yaya Diallo (Mali) 6:10:43
10. Robel Tewelde (Eritrea) 6:10:43
11. Aidan van Niekerk (South Africa) 6:10:43
12. El Houcaine Sabbahi (Morocco) 6:10:43
13. Ismael Voukeng Kemptsop (Cameroon) 6:10:56
14. Million Beza Ejgu (Ethiopia) 6:11:05
15. Daniel Habtemchael (Eritrea) 6:12:28