Biniam Girmay has confirmed he has abandoned the Giro d’Italia after popping a Prosecco cork in his eye in the wake of his historic triumph on Stage 10.
The Eritrean (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) was seen wincing on the podium before he was treated in an ambulance and taken to hospital in Jesi. He was discharged with a bandaged left eye on Tuesday evening.
Intermarche said they would make a decision on Wednesday morning as to whether he started Stage 11 - a pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia - the team's doctor, Piet Daneels, told Eurosport's Andrea Berton.
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And in a message on social media on Wednesday morning, Girmay confirmed he would not be starting.
"Today I didn't start the race because still with my eye I need some rest to give more power to the eye," he said.
Intermarche doctor Daneels added: "Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay. His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days.
"In order to minimise the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure, it is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that's why we decided together with the rider and the sports director that Biniam will not appear at the start of the 11th stage."
Eurosport understands Girmay may potentially target the Tour de France instead. A well-placed source confirmed to Eurosport commentator Bobbie Traksel that the team did not want to take any risks due to the condition of Girmay's eye.
Girmay became the first Black African rider to win a Grand Tour stage after holding off Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) in a thrilling finale on Stage 10.
The 21-year-old was forced to fight through the pack in the closing kilometres after briefly turning the wrong way on a hairpin with 7km remaining – but his superb Intermarche team-mates marshalled him back to the front for the bunch sprint.
Girmay cracked the fancied Van der Poel in the closing metres, with his Dutch rival classily giving his rival the thumbs up as he crossed the line.
Victory had catapulted Girmay to within three points of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) in the race for the maglia ciclamino, with his withdrawal promoting Van der Poel into second in the standings.
‘Take the right way round!’ – Girmay goes wrong way in nervy moment
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