Mwangi wins stage three of Tour De Machakos
Samwel Mwangi of Kenyan Riders won stage three of the ongoing Tour De Machakos cycling contest in Machakos County.
Mwangi clocked 3:07.56 to win the tedious and mountainous stage three competition that snaked from Machakos town, through Mbooni with finish point at Masii.
The win was quite historic for Mwangi who has been in the sport since 2000 with quite a number of international appearances for the country.
Mwangi said his victory was spurred by his Kenyan Riders team mates who encouraged him to go for the win in the stage through elaborate and well calculated plan. “We were all in front leading the pack then they decided to let me go without any chase that could have otherwise got me exhausted and hindered my finishing kick,” Mwangi explained after the win.
Mwangi who is one of the first Kenyan Riders cyclists finished second overall in the tournament’s first edition in 2014 behind former national champion Paul Ariko and was fourth overall in the last year’s race won by Samwel Ekiru.
“This is the third time I am taking part in this competition. It is not easy to win this race owing to the kind of terrain one has to maneuver, but I am glad that I was able to clinch victory in this stage which has drawn me closer to the crown,” said Mwangi.
While savoring his cherished victory Mwangi noted he is grateful to his mentor Nicholas Leong for having introduced him to the sport especially after a difficult childhood. “I was working as a boda boda operator in Eldoret before I met Leong who encouraged me to cut my weight and joined the sport, I was weighing over 100kgs,”he narrated.
Since then Mwangi has become one of the more consistent performers in the Kenyan Riders camp and captain of the squad with great leadership qualities which is a valuable link between the cyclists and the coaches.
“I do enjoy cycling because it has done a lot to me. I cannot imagine how! It is like a dream come true to me. Mostly in the tours I like helping my team mate when they have flats to pace them back to the peloton even though it’s hard work,” he said. Just like other cyclist in the ongoing tour, Mwangi is using the contest to also step up training ahead of the Tour De Rwanda in Kigali next month.
Mwangi said he is stepping up training vigorously since he has an ambition to improve his 11th place finish in Kigali in 2011. But despite Mwangi’s victory, Commonwealth and All Africa Games representative Suleiman Kangangi still retained the yellow jersey for his Kenyan Rider squad.
Kangangi came in second behind Mwangi in 3:08.16 after fierce contest that saw other riders almost gave up in the 106km contest. Kangangi finished runners up in the knock out stage one which was a lapped section at the Machakos Peoples Park and won the 50km stage two that traversed Machakos through Kathiani and back with finish point at the Machakos Tourism Headquarters.
Fact Box Stage three results Men 1. Samwel Mwangi 3.07.56 2. Suleiman Kangangi 3:08.16 3. John Kariuki 3:08.57 4. Salim Kipkemboi 3:09.05 5. Kennerh Karaya 3:09.06 Women 1. Nancy Akinyi 3:56.43 2. Joyce Nyaruri 3:58.01 3. Mitchelle Renee 4:30.59 4. Ruth Wairimu 4:31.40 5. Josephine Musau 5:21.12
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