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Eritrea's Biniam Girmay makes history at Tour de France

July 1, 2024

Biniam Girmay became the first Black African to win a stage of the world's most prestigious cycling event. He took first in the longest stage on the 2024 Tour de France.

Eritrea's Biniam Girmay celebrates winning the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race
Eritrean Binian Girmay sprinted to victory in stage three of the Tour de FranceImage: Daniel Cole/AP/picture alliance

Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Black African rider to win a stage in the Tour de France. He sprinted to victory in the third stage of the cycling event to secure victory on Monday.

Girmay said his win was "for all Africans."

"We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races," Girmay said. "Now it's our moment. It's our time."

Tour de France 'already incredible'

The victory came on the third day and the longest stage of this year's race, spanning 230.8 kilometers (roughly 143 miles) between Piacenza and Turin.

It provided the first chance for a mass sprint, and Girmay timed it perfectly to beat Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Belgian Arnaud de Lie, who finished second and third, respectively.

Stage winner Eritrea's Biniam Girmay wipes away tears after the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race
Girmay described his stage win as 'unbelievable'Image: Daniel Cole/AP/picture alliance

"With my first Tour last year, I acquired experience, and I manage everything better. Winning today is unbelievable," he said.

In the General Classification, Ecuador's Carapaz took the overall leader's yellow jersey from one of the tour favorites, Tadej Pogacar.

Girmay becoming one of the biggest names in cycling

Girmay became the first African to win a one-day classic at Gent-Wevelgem, aged 21.

It was his second Grand Tour stage win after the Giro d'Italia in 2022.

"To be honest, when I went to the Giro I knew I had the level to fight for the win but for the Tour I was thinking I would have to wait [until] 2025, 2026. To win a stage where all the best sprint specialists are present is unbelievable," he said Monday.

South Africans Robbie Hunter and Daryl Impey are the only two other Africans to win a Tour de France stage.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome was born in Kenya but competed for Britain.

lo/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)