Biniam Girmay makes history as the first Black rider to win a Tour de France


History was made at the Tour de France this week when Biniam Girmay became the first black African cyclist to win a stage in the race’s 121-year history.
On social media after the his stage win, he posted: “Let me open the door”.
Girmay did the same at the Giro d’Italia in 2022, when he became the first black African to win a stage of that race, and of any cycling Grand Tour.
Biniam started cycling age 11 when growing up in Eritrea’s capital city of Asmara after his carpenter father introduced him to the sport.
The family would sit down after lunch and watch the Tour de France.

Biniam said: “Since I started cycling I have never dreamed of being 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”
Not only is Biniam Girmay the first black African to win a Tour de France stage, but he is also the only black rider in the whole peloton of 176 riders.
Cycling is popular in Eritrea, the country where Biniam grew up, but it wasn’t until 2015 that they had a cycling hero on the global stage.
Professional cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the King of the Mountains jersey – an award given to the best cyclist over steep and hard climbs during the race – for four Tour stages.
And Biniam says that is when he started to believe his dreams could come true.

“I said, ‘Maybe this is possible, to be part of this [the Tour] one time,” he said. “Daniel showed us everything is possible and that we [African cyclists] can win stages. My father said to keep believing.”
Pre-race talk had been around whether British cyclist, Mark Cavendish would claim a record 35th stage win.
But a crash just over 2km from the line left many riders, including him out of position.
And instead, the history-making moment was all down to Biniam Girmay.

Author: Okunlola Kayode. F

Lagos, Nigeria



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