Puncher’s finish in Rwanda, Piccoli keeps GC-ambitions alive

Canadian GC-contender James Piccoli is, after stage 5, still in the mix for overall victory in the Tour du Rwanda.

The stage with the final climb to Kimironko Market, one of the busiest markets in Rwanda, has only been won by true punchers in the past editions of the race. It’s short, steep, and usually doesn’t result in big time gaps between GC-contenders.

ISN, chasing with the strong Omer Lahav and Guy Sagiv, closed down the gap with the break-away far before the final climb. James Piccoli, five seconds down on the yellow jersey, finished together with his competitors. The climb to Kimironko doesn’t particularly suit him as a rider, but the Canadian did finish seventh.

He barely lost time on his direct competitors. He is actually one second closer to the yellow jersey after today.

Friday’s stage is most likely going to be crucial for the GC, as well as Saturday’s short individual time trial. Sunday’s final stage resulted in time gaps over the last few editions of the Tour, so the race is definitely not decided yet.

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Photos: Sjors Beukeboom and Jean Chris Kitoko

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com