Biniam Girmay holding medal

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

After a late crash disrupted many including Cavendish who finished 113th, 24-year-old Biniam Girmay set the historic record

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In a landmark moment for cycling, Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay made history on June 1 by becoming the first Black African to win a stage in the Tour de France. The 24-year-old Intermarché–Wanty team member won a sprint finish of the grueling 231-kilometer third stage from Piacenza to Turin, the longest of this year’s Tour.

Girmay’s victory carries immense significance for African cycling, as he emotionally declared post-race, “This is for all Africans. We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races. Now it’s our moment. It’s our time.” His win adds to a growing list of achievements, including victories at the Giro d’Italia and the Gent-Wevelgem classic.

The dramatic finale saw a late crash disrupt the plans of several sprint favorites, including Mark Cavendish, who was aiming for a record-breaking 35th stage win. Cavendish, who finished 113th, graciously praised Girmay, calling him a “legend” and acknowledging the importance of the win for African cycling. The crash that affected the sprint finish fortunately did not result in serious injuries

In another historic twist, Richard Carapaz of Ecuador claimed the coveted yellow jersey, becoming the first from his country to lead the Tour de France. Carapaz, an Olympic champion and former Giro d’Italia winner, took the lead from Tadej Pogacar on a technicality after the Pogacar eased up following the 5km mark where general classification times were recorded.

The stage also saw its share of drama and disappointment. Danish rider Casper Pedersen was forced to abandon the race after breaking his collarbone in a fall 15 kilometers from the finish. 

Looking ahead, Tuesday’s fourth stage promises to shake up the general classification with the first mountain test of the Tour. The 140-kilometer route from Pinerolo to Valloire includes the formidable Col du Galibier, where defending champion Jonas Vingegaard and two-time winner Tadej Pogacar are expected to battle for supremacy.

As the Tour prepares to re-enter France, Girmay’s historic win and Carapaz’s yellow jersey have already made this edition one for the record books, showcasing the growing global diversity in professional cycling’s most prestigious event.

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