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Girmay Becomes First Black African To Win Tour De France Stage

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Biniam Girmay, an Eritrean cyclist, made history on Monday by becoming the first Black African rider to claim victory in a Tour de France stage. Girmay crossed the finish line ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie, completing the stage in 5 hours, 26 minutes, and 48 seconds.

The victory came on the third day of this year’s race during its longest stage, covering 230.8 kilometers (approximately 143 miles) between Piacenza and Turin.

Girmay had previously achieved a milestone in Italy two years ago by winning a stage at the Giro d’Italia, making him the first Black African to secure a victory in a Grand Tour, which includes the Giro, the Tour de France, and the Spanish Vuelta.

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“This win is for all Africans,” Girmay said. “We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races. Now it’s our moment. It’s our time.”

Aike Visbeek, the performance director for Girmay’s Intermarché-Wanty team, added: “There is a whole continent that has been waiting for this. It’s been done now, and I hope it will open the floodgates for more riders from Africa. He’s an ambassador in every way.”

In addition to his Tour de France achievement, Girmay made history in 2022 by becoming the first rider from a sub-Saharan country to win a single-day classic at the Gent-Wevelgem race. However, his Giro victory that year was marred when he was injured by a prosecco cork during the podium celebration, forcing him to abandon the race.

The 231-kilometer (144-mile) leg from Piacenza to Turin — the longest stage of this year’s Tour — provided the first opportunity for a mass sprint. As the race prepares to cross back into France after the first four stages in Italy, there will be at least a handful of other opportunities for sprinters.

Girmay finished just ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie.

Meanwhile, 39-year-old Mark Cavendish continues his quest to break the record for most Tour de France stage wins, having been tied with Eddy Merckx at 34 wins for three years. Cavendish put off retirement to try again this year to set the new record.


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