Biniam Girmay takes historic stage at Giro d’Italia

Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay, who became the first African winner of the Belgian classic Gent-Wevelgem in March, made history again on the roads of Jesi, Italy, by conquering the cycling dream of a whole continent with a Stage 10 win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
“It is not just history. It is the manner in which he took that sprint,” said GCN sports commentator Orla Chennaoui, after Girmay, from Intermarché-Wanty Gobert, outsprinted Mathieu Van der Poel from a reduced bunch in the finish of today’s stage. The 22-year-old is the first Black African rider to win a stage in a Grand Tour.Girmay is a breath of fresh air in the European-dominated peloton; not only is he quick, but he can also read a race and improvise in the moments that matter most. In the opening stage of the Giro, in Budapest, Hungary, Girmay duked it out with van der Poel in a fiery uphill sprint. While van der Poel took the stage victory and leader’s jersey (Maglia Rosa), Girmay took second and secured the best young rider jersey (Maglia Blanca) for the next day.
A Black African cyclist winning a stage of the most prestigious Italian stage race is historically meaningful. Girmay may have a short track record, but with five top-five finishes in the first half of the Giro, and this historic win, it is safe to say that the future is filled with promise for the Eritrean.

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