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Eritrea’s Girmay Becomes First Black Rider to Win a Tour de France Stage

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Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay has made history by becoming the first Black rider to win a stage at the Tour de France.

Girmay’s sprint victory in the third leg of the race was a milestone moment, marking a significant breakthrough for African cyclists in the sport.

Girmay’s win was met with jubilation from his team, Intermarche-Wanty, and fans from his native Eritrea, who waved their country’s flag in celebration. The 23-year-old rider dedicated his victory 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.”

Girmay’s achievement is not only a personal triumph but also a testament to the growing presence of African cyclists in the sport. His victory is expected to inspire a new generation of riders from the continent, and his team’s performance director, Aike Visbeek, hopes it will “open the floodgates for more riders from Africa.”

This is not Girmay’s first historic achievement. In 2022, he became the first Black African to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia, one of cycling’s Grand Tours.

Diaspora Digital Media can report that he also won the Gent-Wevelgem race, becoming the first rider from a sub-Saharan country to win a single-day classic.

Girmay’s victory in the 231-kilometer leg from Piacenza to Turin came after a mass sprint, with Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie finishing second and third, respectively. Mark Cavendish, who is chasing a record-breaking 35th stage win, was involved in a crash ahead of the finish line and finished 113th, but was given the same finishing time as Girmay.

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Cavendish praised Girmay’s achievement, saying, “That’s just massive. Cycling is massive in Eritrea. It’s super good for him and for African cycling… He’s a legend, isn’t he?”

The Tour de France continues on Tuesday with Stage 4, a mountainous leg that will see riders tackle the Col du Galibier, one of the race’s classic climbs.

Girmay’s historic victory has set the tone for what promises to be an exciting and unpredictable race.


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