historic victory for Eritrean Biniam Girmay in the Ghent-Wevelgem classic

historic victory for Eritrean Biniam Girmay in the Ghent-Wevelgem classic

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Eritrean Biniam Girmay won Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday March 27, the first victory for a rider from a sub-Saharan African country in a cycling classic. Aged 21, “Bini”, his nickname, beat the Frenchman Christophe Laporte to win brilliantly and confirm the hopes placed in him since his debut in cycling.

This is a monumental feat! Silver medalist in the hopes category at the Worlds last year, Biniam Girmay signed the most important victory of a rider from sub-Saharan Africa in cycling. The Eritrean, who turned professional in 2020 with the French team Delko, joined the WorldTour level last spring. He asserted himself at the end of the season by winning the Classic Grand Besançon before starting the 2021 season with a success at the end of January in Mallorca.

In this classic, we expected the Belgian champion Wout van Aert, it is finally the East African rider who will create the sensation. ” I came here to get a good result, but I never imagined it would be so amazingreleased Biniam Girmay after his victory. I felt better and better and more and more confident. In the sprint, I was dealing with strong riders, but I had confidence. Everyone was waiting for what van Aert was going to do. In fact, it was much easier than expected. »

“It will change everything for me”

Winner of the trophy 2020 African Cyclist of the Yearbecoming the youngest winner at 20, the Eritrean has been escorted since his debut by the most optimistic predictions of world cycling observers. “Biniam Girmay is a great hope for African cycling. (…) He progresses very quickly thanks to his natural qualities as a puncher. We will hear about him in future years. It’s a certainty », already ensured Bernard Hinault in December 2020.

This first victory of an african runner in a classic World tour will inevitably open the doors of notoriety to Biniam Girmay in Africa and in the world. For someone who comes from a small country, Eritrea, with six million inhabitants, it is immeasurable. ” It’s gonna change everything for me recognizes Girmay. I also hope that this will change everything in the near future for all Africans. I congratulate them all, we must all congratulate ourselves, we African runners. »

Biniam Girmay plans to return to his country to savor this success and see his family again, then to return to Europe to run the Giro, the Tour of Italy, from May 6 to 29, 2022.


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