Biniam Girmay Becomes First Black African to Win Tour de France Stage

Biniam Girmay Becomes First Black African to Win Tour de France Stage
GETTY IMAGES Image caption, Biniam Girmay also won a stage at the Giro d'Italia in 2022

A First: Biniam Girmay’s Victory as the First Black African to Win a Stage of the Tour de France
The name Biniam Girmay will go down in cycling lore as the first Black African to win a stage of the Tour de France. After a reduced sprint finish on the run into Turin, the Eritrean rider triumphed, with Arnaud de Lie of Belgium in third position and Fernando Gaviria of Colombia in second.

Mark Cavendish’s record-breaking 35th stage win was the main focus of attention in the stages preceding up to this one. But these dreams were dashed when a crash happened just over 2 kilometers from the finish line on the 230.8-kilometer circuit from Piacenza. Cavendish was one of many cyclists who were no longer in the race.

Richard Carapaz became the first Ecuadorian to wear the yellow jersey, adding another historic milestone to the day’s events. Along with other noteworthy riders like Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel, and Tadej Pogacar, who shared the same total time as Carapaz, his consistent performance over the first three stages put him at the top of the general classification.

As he crossed the finish line, 24-year-old Girmay contemplated his remarkable accomplishment, his emotions clearly showing. His first Grand Tour stage victory came in 2022 at the Giro d’Italia, and he was quite grateful and proud of his accomplishment. “I am grateful to God for everything; he has provided me with the strength and support I need,” Girmay said. Having never imagined competing in the Tour de France since I began cycling, I still can’t believe it. To my wife, my family, Eritrea, and all of Africa, I am eternally grateful. We ought to have a sense of pride. We are now competing in major races and are doing well. We must seize this moment. Every single African nation will benefit from this.

Mark Cavendish and the Astana-Qazaqstan team had an especially difficult stage. During the latter stages of the race, when riders were vying for position on the right side of the road, Cavendish described the anxious minutes preceding the incident. “Something was going to happen,” he commented. You had a sense of it, but timing and location remained a mystery. You slam on the brakes, skid, and brace yourself for an oncoming vehicle since I heard it happening up ahead. Fortunately, no one was harmed severely, and we were all OK. No one should have to crash, but thankfully, it seems like no one was terribly wounded. We may not have sprinted, but what matters most is that we are safe.

The race is about to face a difficult stage as it approaches the Alps. This year’s Tour de France promises more exciting and unexpected happenings as the cyclists confront the fearsome Col du Galibier on a steep 139.6km course from Pinerolo to Valloire.

Biniam Girmay’s historic victory is a watershed moment in the sport of cycling on the African continent, serving as an inspiration to riders of all ages.


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