Itamar Einhorn continued Israel – Premier Tech’s dominant performance at the Tour du Rwanda on Saturday as he sprinted to win his second stage of this year’s race in Kayonza.

Having become the first Israeli rider to ever win a stage of the race when he triumphed in Kibeho on Monday, Einhorn doubled his victory tally in today’s seventh stage with another memorable ride, this time after being part of a near 100-kilometer, six-man breakaway.

His British teammate Joe Blackmore safely finished 10th to retain the race lead with just Sunday’s final stage around the capital city of Kigali to come.

However, IPT had to work hard to both keep the yellow jersey and claim its third stage victory of the week, one day after Blackmore won on Mont Kigali.

Attacks were constant throughout the first hour, in which the riders covered just shy of 52 kilometers. After a trio comprising Lennert Teugels (BWB), Vincent Dorn (BAI), and Lorenz Van de Wynkele (LDD) broke clear, Einhorn latched onto a chasing duo of Paul Ourselin (TEN) and Gal Glivar (UAZ). Teugels was the best-placed on GC, but the gap back to the peloton never got within 30 seconds of him becoming the virtual race leader, as Einhorn up front, and Guy Sagiv, Chris Froome, and Moritz Kretschy in the peloton kept it in check.

Itamar Einhorn wins Tour du Rwanda stage 7

Einhorn says: “The plan was not to be in the breakaway, it was to control the race, and we did it. We closed a lot of attacks.

“In the end, the attack that went, I just sat on them, trying to bring them back, as you say. But they didn’t want to come back, so I just sat on them and we arrived to the front. From there, we worked almost 100 kilometers, I think, in the front.”

Aware of Einhorn’s sprinting capabilities, riders – most notably Ourselin – tried to attack from the breakaway group. These accelerations, nor the rolling terrain on the approach to the finish, were going to stop the Israeli rider from taking his second victory of the week. The sprint ended up being a two-way contest with Van de Wynkele, who crossed the line nearly a bike length back.

Itamar Einhorn is congratulated by Chris Froome after winning Tour du Rwanda stage 7

“There were a lot of attacks in the last 20 kilometers,” adds Einhorn. “I didn’t feel amazing but I was really focused for the final. I knew that if I came to the final sprint I will be good. This is what I was thinking all the way, and it worked.”

Less than a minute later, Blackmore crossed the line in 10th to round off his first day leading a UCI stage race.

“For me, it was just a controlled day, but it ended up being great with Itamar in the break,” he says. “We always had this stage down as a sprint for Itamar, so for him to pull the win off, especially from a break, is fantastic.

“After the breakaway went, we were able to ride easy and save energy.”

Joe Blackmore during Tour du Rwanda stage 7

Only four riders sit within a minute of Blackmore on GC going into tomorrow’s eighth and final stage, which incorporates the circuit that will feature in the UCI Road World Championships in September 2025.

“It’s only a short stage tomorrow, but there are lots of corners and climbs,” Blackmore adds. “I think it will be a hard day. I’ll have to stay near the front all day and see how it goes.”

Lead photo: Tour du Rwanda