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Intermarche - Wanty team's Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay cycles to the finish line ahead of second-placed Movistar Team's Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria (right) and third-placed Lotto Dstny team's Belgian rider Arnaud De Lie (L) to win the 3rd stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 230,5 km between Piacenza and Turin, in Italy, on Monday. Image Credit: AFP

Turin, Italy: Eritrean Biniam Girmay dedicated his stage three win at the Tour de France to “the continent of Africa” as Richard Carapaz took the overall race lead in Turin.

Intermarche rider Girmay, 24, who gave the Belgian team its first success on the Tour, is the third African to win on the Grande Boucle after South Africans Daryl Impey and Rob Hunter.

Multiple tour winner Chris Froome was born in Kenya but competed for Britain.

“It means a lot personally for me for the continent of Africa,” Girmay said.

“There are many obstacles for African riders.

“I had to come to Europe, learn English, learn the cycling language, it takes time and support.

“I should thank my team because with them I have grown every season.”

Carapaz became Ecuador’s first ever yellow jersey wearer, taking it from overnight leader Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia with the pair level on time.

Belgian Remco Evenepoel and Danish two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard are third and fourth respectively.

“I can’t remember much about it,” said an emotional Girmay at the line.

“I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best at the end.”

Girmay pipped Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Belgian Arnaud De Lie after a chaotic finale marked by a late fall as the riders hit speeds of around 65kph in the dash to the line.

The crash, in which the big favourite for the sprint Belgian Jasper Philipsen was involved, created a break in the peloton.

Two-time race winner Pogacar, gunning for a historic Giro-Tour double, did not fall but was delayed.

Carapaz came third on the Tour in 2021 but was overlooked in the build up to this Tour after falling on day one last time out.

The Olympic road race champion was not selected by the Ecuadorean team to defend his title at the Paris Games.

Now the 31-year-old Carapaz has gatecrashed the Fab Four favourites with Primoz Roglic dropping off the pace.

“I was sick after the Tour of Switzerland and I know you need to be in optimal shape here,” said former Giro d’Italia winner Carapaz.

“For the first time yesterday I felt much better. Whatever comes after this is a victory, but we will defend the jersey with everything as long as we can.”

After two sweltering stages, the skies were shrouded grey entering the northern Italian industrial city with thunder shortly after the race ended.


Girmay is a strong sprinter and modelled his style on Peter Sagan.

He was aided in his win at Turin by the absence of stage favourite Philipsen, who fell in the run in.

The stage winner spoke about his childhood in Eritrea, where cycling is a major sport.

“After lunch in July my dad always used to say ‘come on guys, let’s watch the Tour de France’.

“One day, after Sagan won and I asked my dad if he thought I could win one day and he said if I worked hard I could.

“But I was inspired too by Daniel Teklehaimanot when he got the polka dot jersey in 2015,” he recalled of his compatriot.

“But this is for everyone, they all inspired me, all the Eritrean cyclists.”

Girmay signalled his coming of age in 2022 when he became the first African to win a one-day classic at Gent-Wevelgem, aged 21.

It was his second Grand Tour stage win after the Giro d’Italia in 2022 where he injured an eye opening a bottle of prosecco on the podium.