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Biniam Girmay

Eritrean Cyclist Biniam Girmay Makes History with Tour de France Stage Win

Paris, July 02, 2024, The Europe Today: Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Black African rider to win a stage in the Tour de France. Girmay sprinted to victory in the third stage of the prestigious cycling event, securing his place in history on Monday.

Girmay dedicated his win to all Africans, saying, “We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races. Now it’s our moment. It’s our time.”

The victory came during the longest stage of this year’s race, spanning 230.8 kilometers (roughly 143 miles) between Piacenza and Turin. The third stage provided the first opportunity for a mass sprint, and Girmay timed his finish perfectly to beat Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Belgian Arnaud de Lie, who finished second and third, respectively.

Reflecting on his achievement, Girmay said, “With my first Tour last year, I acquired experience, and I manage everything better. Winning today is unbelievable.”

In the General Classification, Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz took the overall leader’s yellow jersey from one of the tour favorites, Tadej Pogacar.

Girmay, who is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in cycling, first gained international attention by becoming the first African to win a one-day classic at Gent-Wevelgem at the age of 21. His Tour de France stage win is his second Grand Tour stage victory, following his success at the Giro d’Italia in 2022.

“To be honest, when I went to the Giro I knew I had the level to fight for the win but for the Tour I was thinking I would have to wait [until] 2025, 2026. To win a stage where all the best sprint specialists are present is unbelievable,” Girmay said on Monday.

Prior to Girmay’s victory, only two other Africans, South Africans Robbie Hunter and Daryl Impey, had won a Tour de France stage. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome was born in Kenya but competed for Britain.