Biniam Girmay’s historic Grand Tour victory almost never happened after the Eritrean briefly went the wrong way in the closing stages on Stage 10 at the Giro d'Italia.
Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) produced a brilliant sprint to see off Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) to become the first Black African to win a Grand Tour stage – but he almost missed the finale after a lapse in concentration.
As the front group jostled for position on the final descent with 7km remaining, Girmay was caught out by a tight hairpin. Rather than following the road’s arc the whole way, Girmay pulled off at the halfway point and almost disappeared the wrong way down the road.
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“Ohhh, take the right way round,” cried Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary.
“Some of them take the wrong way round and it’s Girmay to the back.”
Although he realised his error, it saw him drift to the back of the front group as Van der Poel attacked at the front.
Fortunately, Girmay was slowly dragged back into position by his tireless Intermarche team-mates before the group came back together for a bunch sprint, which the 21-year-old won with aplomb.
However, Girmay’s celebrations soon turned sour after he accidentally popped a Prosecco cork in his eye on the podium.
He was treated in an ambulance before being taken to hospital in Jesi.
Watch the moment Girmay became first Black African to win Grand Tour stage
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Stream the Giro d'Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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