• Country

“It’s our moment, it’s our time. It’s for all Africa,” Declares Biniam Girmay After Historic Tour de France Stage Win

By Monica Buck

Biniam Girmay achieved a monumental milestone by becoming the first black African to win a Tour de France stage, triumphing in a high-speed sprint during the third stage in Turin.

This win adds to Girmay’s groundbreaking achievements, having also been the first black African to claim a Grand Tour stage at the Giro d’Italia in 2022. The race’s journey across 230.8km of northern Italy, ending near the French border in Turin, was marked by straightforward roads and several roundabouts, culminating in a fierce sprint to the finish line.

Riding for Intermarché-Wanty, the Eritrean cyclist managed to outpace some of the world’s elite sprinters, such as Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and Fabio Jakobsen (dsm-firmenich PostNL). However, it was Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) and rookie Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) who secured second and third places respectively.

Additionally, there was a significant shift in the General Classification standings as former Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) climbed into the lead, tying with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

Despite not being his team’s primary sprinter for the day, Girmay made a solo break in the final kilometer. “Normally the plan would be to give a leadout for Gerben Thijssen,” he shared, “and if it’s the circumstances… I need to try for myself. We did a really good job but in the last kilometer I lost the wheel of Gerben and I just rode for myself.”

The victory was visibly moving for Girmay, who, in a tearful interview, expressed his gratitude: “I never dreamed of being part of the Tour de France, but now, I can believe it. To win at the Tour de France in a big bunch sprint for me was unbelievable.”

He further dedicated his win to his countrymen and the continent: “I thanked God and my family, and ‘all the Eritreans and Africans – we must be proud,’ I said. ‘Now we’re really part of the big races, it’s our moment, it’s our time. It’s for all Africa.'”

Despite a severe crash within the final three kilometers, all competitors completed the stage, though Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan), chasing a historic 35th victory, finished in 113th place due to the incident.

Stage 3 finishers

  1. Biniam Girmay (Eri) – Intermarché-Wanty, 5:25:48
  2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) – Movistar
  3. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) – Lotto-Dstny
  4. Mads Pedersen (Den) – Lidl-Trek
  5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) – Jayco-AlUla
  6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) – Bahrain Victorious
  7. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) – dsm-firmenich PostNL
  8. Davide Ballerini (Ita) – Astana Qazaqstan
  9. Sam Bennett (Irl) – Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
  10. Bryan Coquard (Fra) – Cofidis

(All riders finished with the same time as the winner)

General Classification After Stage 3:

  1. Richard Carapaz (ECU) – EF Education-EasyPost, 15:20:18
  2. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) – UAE Team Emirates
  3. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) – Soudal Quick-Step
  4. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) – Visma-Lease a Bike
  5. Romain Bardet (FRA) – DSM-Firmenich-PostNL, +6 sec
  6. Pello Bilbao (ESP) – Bahrain Victorious, +21 sec
  7. Guillaume Martin (FRA) – Cofidis
  8. Egan Bernal (COL) – INEOS Grenadiers
  9. Jai Hindley (AUS) – Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe
  10. Alexandr Vlasov (RUS) – Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe