Girmay first black African to win Tour de France stage

Biniam Girmay made history as the first black African to win a Tour de France stage as Mark Cavendish was held up by a late crash on the run into Turin.

In a reduced sprint finish, Eritrea’s Girmay powered to victory, with Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria and Belgium’s Arnaud de Lie in second and third.

All the pre-race talk had been around whether Cavendish could claim a record 35th stage win, but a crash just over 2km from the line on the 230,8km route from Piacenza left many riders – including the Manxman – out of position.

Meanwhile, Richard Carapaz became the first Ecuadorian to wear the yellow jersey based on accumulated finishing positions over the first three stages, with Tadej Pogacar, Remco Evenepoel and Jonas Vingegaard also on the same time as the EF Education-EasyPost rider in the general classification.

At the finish an emotional Girmay (24) – who won his first Grand Tour stage at the Giro d’Italia in 2022 – outlined the importance of his achievement.

“I would say thanks to God for everything, for giving me all the strength and support,” Girmay said.

“Since I started cycling, I was never dreaming to be part of the Tour de France but now I can’t believe it. I want to say thank you to my family, my wife, Eritrea and Africa.

“We must be proud. Now we are part of the big races and have success. Now is our moment, now is our time. This  is for all of Africa.”Cavendish and his Astana-Qazaqstan teammates were on the right side of the road as riders jostled for position in the closing stages of the race and the 39-year-old said he was just happy to emerge unscathed, having crashed out of the race 12 months ago on stage eight.

“Something was going to happen,” Cavendish said. “You could feel it but you didn’t know where or when. I heard it happening ahead so you’re on the brakes, you skid and you wait for somebody to hit you from behind.

“Thankfully, we were OK and I don’t think anyone was seriously hurt. You don’t want anybody to crash but I don’t think anyone was seriously hurt, so that’s very good news. We didn’t sprint but we’re safe and that’s the main thing.”

On Tuesday, the race heads into the Alps as the Tour takes in the mighty Col du Galibier on the mountainous 139,6km route from Pinerolo to Valloire.

Stage three results

  1. Biniam Girmay (Eri/Intermarche-Wanty) 5hrs 26mins 48secs
  2. Fernando Gaviria (Col/Movistar) Same time
  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 (Ire/Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale) “
  10. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Cofidis) “
    General classification after stage three
  11. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/EF Education-EasyPost) 15hrs 20mins 18secs
  12. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) Same time
  13. Remco Evenepoel (Bel/Soudal-Quick-Step) “
  14. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Visma-Lease a Bike) “
  15. Romain Bardet (Fra/DSM-firmenich PostNL) +6secs
  16. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +21secs
  17. Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) Same time
  18. Egan Bernal (Col/Ineos Grenadiers) “
  19. Jai Hindley (Aus/Red Bull Bora-Hansgrohe) “
  20. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Red Bull Bora-Hansgrohe) ” – BBC

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