Giro d'Italia: Eritrean Girmay sprints to historic stage 10 win
Biniam Girmay became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage on a historic and eventful day at the Giro d'Italia.
The Eritrean outpaced Mathieu van der Poel in a pulsating sprint finish to win stage 10 in Jesi on Tuesday. Reports said Girmay was then hit in the eye by a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine as he celebrated the win, needing hospital treatment.
Girmay and Van der Poel had burst away from the pack, and the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider fended off the Belgian to put his name in the record books.
Van der Poel gave the 22-year-old history-maker the thumbs-up followed by a warm embrace after they crossed the line at the end of a hilly 196-kilometre ride from Pescara.
Girmay had finished second on the opening stage of the race and secured another four top-five finishes before finally taking the top step of the podium.
An elated Girmay said: "It's unbelievable, I'm really grateful and happy.
"Since the start, we controlled [the stage]. I don't have any words for my team for what they did today."
Juan Pedro Lopez retained the maglia rosa – the leader's jersey – and a 12-second lead from Joao Almeida after having his advantage slashed on Sunday.
There had been a shake-up in the general classification battle on Sunday, but Lopez remains the man to catch and Romain Bardet kept third place - with 14 seconds to make up the leader.
Girmay's 'best moment ever' arrives
Girmay had stated before this race that "it's going to be, I think, the best moment ever" when a black African rider won a Grand Tour stage.
He added: "It's a dream of all African cyclists to win in a Grand Tour, especially the Tour [de France] or Giro. A black rider has never won a Grand Tour stage."
Girmay did not have long for that moment to arrive and there will surely be more to come for the youngster.
1. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 4:32:07
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) same time
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) same time
4. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
5. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) same time
1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 42:24:08
2. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12
3. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +0:14
1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 151
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 148
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 90
King of the Mountains
1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43