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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

African cyclist makes history at Tour de France

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay won the third stage of the showpiece from Piacenza to Turin

Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay made history on Monday as the first black African to win a stage of the Tour de France.  

The 24-year-old finished ahead of Fernando Gaviria of Colombia and Belgium’s Arnaud De Lie, completing the stage from Piacenza to Turin in 5 hours, 26 minutes, and 48 seconds.  

Girmay dedicated his victory to “all Africans,” saying that “winning a stage on the Tour de France, for me, is just incredible.” 

“We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races,” he added. “Now it’s our moment. It’s our time.” 

The triumph occurred on the third day of this year’s race, during its longest stage, which covered 230.8 km (approximately 143 miles) from Piacenza to Turin. Girmay covered the last kilometer at the average speed of 63.3 kph.  

He expressed hope on social media that the victory would be the first of many for cyclists from Africa. 

“Let me open the door,” Girmay posted on X (formerly Twitter). 

Following his victory and the points earned in the sprint, Girmay has climbed to second place in the sprint classification with a total of 83 points. 

At the age of 21, the cyclist became the first African to win the one-day classic at Gent-Wevelgem. The latest victory marks his second Grand Tour stage win, following his triumph at the Giro d’Italia in 2022.  

Previously, two white African athletes had achieved Tour de France stage victories: Robbie Hunter in 2007 and Daryl Impey in 2019. 

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On Tuesday, the race moved into the Alps, tackling the formidable Col du Galibier on a challenging 139.6 km route from Pinerolo to Valloire.

July 03, 2024 at 03:08PM

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