Historical: Biniam Girmay, from Eritrea, is the first black African to win a stage of the Tour de France

After a sprint, he was the first to cross the finish line of the third stage, in Turin.

Tour de Francia
Biniam Girmay Biniam Girmay celebra luego de cruzar la meta antes que Arnaud de Lie y Fernando Gaviria, para ganar la tercera etapa del Tour de Francia con meta en Turín, Italia. (Jerome Delay/AP)

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Eritrean Biniam Girmay became on Monday the first black African cyclist to win a stage of the Tour de France, emerging victorious from a sprint in the third stage held between Piacenza with the finish line in Turin.


Two years ago, Girmay also made history in Italy when he won a stage of the Giro to become the first black African to achieve a victory in a Grand Tour, which also includes the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.


The cyclist from the Intermarché-Wanty team said that his victory was "for all Africans. We should feel proud. We are truly part of the big races. This is our moment."

This celebration of Girmay was safer

Girmay's victory in the Giro two years ago was overshadowed when he was urgently taken to a hospital after being hit in the left eye by a prosecco cork that popped open during the podium celebration, forcing him to abandon the race.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish's quest for a 35th stage victory will have to wait. The 39-year-old veteran is tied with Eddy Merckx with 34 victories and postponed his retirement to try once again this year to break the record.

The 231-kilometer (144-mile) stage from Piacenza to Turin, the longest of this year's Tour, provided the first opportunity for a mass sprint. In the sprint, Girmay finished just ahead of Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Belgian Arnaud De Lie. Cavendish finished much further back.

The great favorite in the sprints, Belgian Jasper Philipsen, champion of the points classification in the 2023 Tour de France, suffered a fall without major consequences a thousand meters before the finish line.

The Tour arrives in France

There will be a few additional opportunities for sprinters once the race returns to France this Tuesday, with a fourth stage that will have the first challenge in the high mountains, climbing the Sestriere and the Col du Galibier —one of the classic ascents of the Tour— in a 140-kilometer (87-mile) route between Pinerolo (Italy) and Valloire (France).

The new leader in the general classification is Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who has the same time as Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, and Remco Evenepoel, but better placements in these first three stages.


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