Riders from Cote d’ Ivoire, Ghana and Mali finished in the top six positions on 14t November 2013, at the end of the first stage of the ongoing 3rd ECOWAS Cycling Tour, thereby challenging the dominance of Burkina Faso’s cyclists in the regional competition.
The latest stage covered 117 kilometres from Lagos, Nigeria to Ouidah in Benin Republic, with Ivorian cyclist Bolodigui Ouattara finishing first, after arriving at the finish line in three hours 20 minutes 36 seconds.
He was followed by Burkina Faso’s AbdoulAziz Nikiema, who clocked three hours 20 minutes 36 seconds, while Anim Samuel of Ghana posted a time of three hours 20 minutes 37 seconds for the third position.
Two Malians, Sangare Oumar and Sangare Tidiani recorded three hours 20 minutes 38 seconds and three hours 20 minutes 39 seconds respectively, while Nigeria’s Ajibade Qodir, who has had a good showing in the tour so far, posted three hours 20 minutes 42 seconds.
Most of the cyclists maintained an average speed of 33.2 kilometres an hour during the race.
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso’s Nikiema and Ivorian Ouattara were first and second in all three sprints, while Qodir was adjudged the third best in the three intermediate sprints.
The tour which kicked off in Lagos on 13th November is over 450 kilometres across five countries – Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, terminating in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan on 17th November 2013.