Biniam Girmay, Wins a Grand Tour stage (Giro d’Italia).

Biniam Girmay, Wins a Grand Tour stage (Giro d’Italia).

Biniam Girmay became the first African to win a stage of a Grand Tour with victory in the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday May 17th 2022, with a time of 04:32:07, but his race could now be over after an accident during his podium celebration.

The Eritrean, Girmay, 22, had already made history this season with his victory at Gent-Wevelgem in March making him the first African to win a Belgian cobbled classic, and out-sprinted Mathieu van der Poel on stage 10 of the Giro in Jesi to add another landmark moment for the sport.

Biniam Girmay was also named the African Cyclist of the Year in 2020 and 2021, and also won a Silver World Championships in 2021.

But his celebrations were cut short when he was hit in the eye by the cork from a Prosecco bottle on the post-race podium.

Girmay missed the usual post-stage press conference to go to hospital, and was later pictured with a bandage over his eye. It was a cruel finish to an historic day.

A lumpy end to the 196km stage from Pescara had left the peloton in pieces with Girmay and van der Poel the only real sprinters left in a much-reduced front group. After Girmay launched his move, Van der Poel gave up in his bid to come around the Eritrean and offered a salute as he crossed the line.

Speaking before his accident on the podium, Girmay said: "It's unbelievable. I thank the team. We started the race well, we controlled it.

I don't have any words for my team, when I started the Giro we had the possibility to win and make good results - this is also part of the success of our team, my family and everybody."

"Every day comes new history so I'm really grateful and happy that I did it."


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