MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung continued building on the successful debut season in the Pro Continental ranks of world cycling as Jay Thomson won stage 1 of the Tour of Rwanda today. Jay put in a huge attack to ride away from the already reduced lead group as they entered the Kirhe city.Jay is the current SA road champion and he did the jersey proud as he rode alone to the finish.
The fact that the stage climbed over 1449 meters did not hold Jay back and to put the cherry on the cake he was followed across the finish line by his team mates Louis Meintjies in 3rd and Adrien Niyonshuti in 9th.
Thomson was visibly exhausted as he crossed the finish line and he went on to describe the days stage as the hardest victory he has ever achieved. “We showed again today the strength we have as a team and after Adrien and Louis had put in huge attacks I decided to go hard on what I thought was the last climb ,” said Thomson.
It turned out that there was still at least 12km to go to the finish and Jay hung on for all he was worth,happy however in the knowledge that Louis was in the chase group and if he was caught,he was sure Louis would finish off the job.
Thomson’s result moves him into the leader’s jersey with his young team mate Louis Meinjies in 2nd place a mere 2 seconds further back. His hours of training and at times hurting his latest team mate John-Lee Augustyn sees him reaping the rewards for the hard work he has put into his training. John-Lee was very happy for Jay and had known he had it in him. “He really hurt me in some of our training rides and his condition was great,” said Augustyn.
Tuesday’s stage starts in Adrien’s home town of Rwamagana and covers a distance of 151km which will be another true tester for the field.