Eritrean Biniam Girmay creates cycling history with Giro d'Italia stage win

Intermarche rider clinches stage 10 on Tuesday ahead of Dutch star Van der Poel

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Biniam Girmay created history on Tuesday by clinching stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday.

The Eritrean, 22, became the first black African to win a stage on any of the three Grand Tours. Girmay proved too strong for Dutch ace Mathieu van der Poel, who threw up his hands in defeat after a long struggle for the line at Jesi.

Multiple tour winner Chris Froome was born in Kenya and Daryl Impey of South Africa also has won stages, but Girmay is the first black African to do so.

“I realise I’m making history but it’s thanks to my team and my family,” Girmay said. “I’m really grateful to them.”

Spanish rider Juan Pedro Lopez of the Trek-Segafredo team maintained his 12-second lead over Joao Almeida in the overall standings as the three-week race approached the halfway stage. Romain Bardet is 14 seconds back.

“I watched the Giro as a kid on television and then went out riding with the dream of one day taking part,” Girmay added. “We write a little piece of history every day.”

Girmay, who finished second in the opening stage, was led out by teammate Domenico Pozzovivo in the final stretch.

“I started the Giro with the desire to win a stage. Everyone from the team pulled for me today, even the [general classification] riders, Domenico Pozzovivo was amazing at the end,” Girmay said.

“At 600m to go, he said 'come'. He pushed me to go and win.”

Girmay, who rides for the Intermarche, completed the stage in 4:32:07. Van der Poel and Vincenzo Albanese crossed second and third, respectively, both with the same time as Girmay.

Girmay signalled his coming of age in March when he became the first African to win a one-day classic at Gent-Wevelgem, when still just 21.

However, it was not all good news for Girmay. Proceedings took a nasty turn as he suffered a minor injury to his left eye while celebrating on the podium. He appeared worried as he was led to an ambulance for treatment although there was no visible wound to his eye, according to early reports.

Updated: May 17, 2022, 4:49 PM
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