KIGALI, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan rider Jean Bosco Nsengimana on Sunday won the prologue road cycling race of the Tour du Rwanda on a very damp day in Rwanda's capital city Kigali.
The 2017 Tour du Rwanda kicked off with a 3.3km prologue, starting and finishing at Kigali's Amahoro Stadium.
Winners of the brief event claim race leadership for the first official opening stage the following day.
Nsengimana used 3 minutes and 46 seconds, a new record in the 3.3km race to break his initial best time of 3 minutes 52 seconds set during 2015 Tour du Rwanda edition.
Tour du Rwanda defending champion Valens Ndayisenga, also a Rwandan, finished in second place after racing for 3 minutes and 48 seconds.
South African national, De Bod Stefan from Dimension Data of South Africa, a cycling team, came in third place with 3 minutes 52 seconds while Joseph Areruya, another Rwandan, finished fourth.
"This is good for my morale and my team as I focus on becoming the champion of this year's Tour Du Rwanda," said Nsengimana.
Nsengimana will have on the Yellow Jersey on Monday during the stage one that will start from Kacyiru sector in Gasabo district in Kigali to Huye District, in Southern Province, a race that will cover 120.3km.
In total, the 2017 Tour du Rwanda will cover a distance of 819 kilometers, and for the second consecutive year, will reach in all the four provinces of the country and Kigali.
This year's edition has drawn a total of 75 cyclists grouped in 15 teams from across the world. Five teams will make their Tour du Rwanda debut this year, including Dukla Banska Bystrica (Slovakia), Team Illuminate (USA), Kenya Riders Safaricom (Kenya), Mauritius National Team and Tirol Cycling Team (Austria).
Tour du Rwanda has become the biggest annual sporting event in Rwanda, Aimable Bayingana, president of the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY) told Xinhua at the sidelines of the event.
"Tour du Rwanda has become a platform to inspire young Rwandan talents in cycling race. We are proud of Team Rwanda riders because they have demonstrated to Rwandans and Africans that they can compete favorably on international scene," said Bayingana.
According to FERWACY, this year's race will cost 595,400 U.S. dollars (about 500 million Rwandan francs), an increase from 476,320 dollars (about 400 million Rwandan francs) that was used last year.