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Tour de France 2024 results: Biniam Girmay becomes first black African to win Tour 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 for all Africa”

Cavendish and his Astana-Qazaqstan team-mates 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.

SOURCE: BBC Sport RSS   (go to source)
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