PROTOUCH™ returned to Rwanda last week to take on Africa’s Toughest Tour, for the third time.
Taking on a total elevation of 17,000 meters and finishing off in a terrific 4th Place on the General Classification, with six Top 10 Stage finishes, two Top 20 Stage finishes and a Top 10 in the Mountains Classification.
The Team earned seventy three UCI Points, added to ProTouch’s 2020 Points Table – reaffirming their number one team in Africa position. Here’s a run down of another successful Tour in Africa:
Stage 1 – Kigali Arena – Kigali Kimironko (114,4 km) got off to a good start, the Team’s first Top 10 position with Kent Main finishing in 9th position.
Stage 2 – Kigali Mic Building – Huye (120,5 km) Kent Main finished off in 17th on Stage 2 [11th on GC].
Stage 3 – Huye – Rusizi (142 km) Kent Main – 23rd Place
Stage 4 – Rusizi – Rubavu (206,3 km) – Announced as the Queen Stage, this is what Kent Main had to say after the stage, “today we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. We raced aggressively from the start and managed to get three ProTouch riders in the breakaway. Gustav emptied himself all the way and rode himself into the ground for us. HB buried himself too, to conserve my energy and, set me up for my final attack perfectly. I managed to get clear and go solo to the finish! I’m a little disappointed not to get the top step today for the TEAM after such a big effort but to see that WE are now 3rd on GC is a reward in itself”.
The Team finished off the stage with a 2nd place [Kent Main] and 4th place [HB Kruger].
Sports Director, Maxime Martin added “without this dedication and focused teamwork, these results would not be possible”.
Stage 5 – Rubavu – Musanze (84,7 km) A short but difficult stage. The goal was to protect Kent and to arrive together for the bunch sprint. And, this is exactly what happened. Gustav suffered a puncture with 6km to go, coming back at 3 km to go but, too late for the sprint. With a lot of corners in the last kilometres, Kent managed to keep his 3rd position on GC.
Stage 6 – Musanze – Muhanga (127,3 km) A difficult day, with a lot of climbing made harder with the heavy rain. Following a really fast start, Kent was in the leading group that decided to attack the yellow jersey on the last climb. Kent finished off in 9th on the stage [5th on GC].
Stage 7 – Kigali Nyamirambo – Wall of Kigali (4,5 km, ITT) Kent Main finished off in an impressive 4th Place [5th on GC].
Stage 8 – Kigali Expo Ground – Kigali Rebero (89,3 km) A very hard final day, twice up Mount Kigali as well as two climbs up the Wall of Kigali to pass two times too. The mission was to try to move up on the General Classification, so he needed to grab some important seconds. The race was perfectly controlled by ProTouch and Kent went on the attack at 15km to go.
A small group of 10 riders with all the leaders will fight for this final stage. Final stage, Kent finished off in 4th place and 4th on the overall GC, with strong support from HB Kruger, Gustav Basson, James Fourie and Hafetab Weldu.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Sports Director, Maxime Martin, our mechanic Rafiki Uwimana and, soigneur Virginie Gines. To our partners and the great brands that #SupportSATalent and #InvestInTheDream – Barak Fund Management, Smith Optics, Pro Apparel Asia, Devel Project, Deda Elementi, Named Sport, Doppio Zero South Africa.
For more information visit www.protouchsports.co.za