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Intermarche - Wanty team's Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay wearing the sprinter's green jersey sprints past the finish line to win the 12th stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Villeneuve-Sur-Lot: Biniam Girmay won stage 12 of the Tour de France in a mass dash for the line on Thursday to extend his lead in the sprint points race with his third triumph so far, while Primoz Roglic was left bloody after another fall.

Girmay became the first black African to win a stage on the Tour on the third day of this year’s edition at Turin and was first again on stage eight.

He then proved fastest in a bunched sprint finish in stage 12 as he topped the podium ahead of Wout van Aert and Pascal Ackermann.

Girmay now has 328pts to Jasper Philipsen’s 217 with few real sprint stages remaining, with the exception of the one on Friday.

Title pretender Roglic had been fourth overnight but trailed home 2min 27sec behind Girmay after a fall that left his shoulder bleeding.

Overnight leader Tadej Pogacar remains 1min 06sec ahead of Remco Evenepoel in second, with Jonas Vingegaard in third at 1min 14sec.

Pogacar’s teammate Joao Almeida is now fourth in the overall standings at 4min 20sec, with Ineos rider Carlos Rodriguez in fifth at 4min 40sec.

Roglic started the day 2min 15sec adrift but looked haggard as he crossed the line after struggling home over the final 12.5km.

The fall happened outside the zone where late crashes are overlooked for overall times.

Roglic was involved in a crash for a second consecutive day after an Astana rider failed to see a slender traffic island and took down some dozen riders.

The 34-year-old four-time Grand Tour winner took a couple of minutes to get back in the saddle.

The Tour lost two further participants on Thursday.

First, the bulky Belgian sprinter Fabio Jakobsen found it too hard to keep up with the swift 2024 Tour pace and fell off the back to retire.

Spanish rider Pello Bilbao was also ill in the 33C heat and pulled out half-way through the stage unable to maintain the pace.

Four early attackers opened a gap of almost four minutes after getting away at 34km and only being reeled in at 164km.

Jonas Abrahamsen is level with Pogacar in the Mountain classification on 36 points.

However, the nominal leader is to be the Slovenian due to his higher standing.

Stage 13 is one of the last obvious sprint stages on a flat run Friday from Agen to Pau, the gateway to the Pyrenees.

“Between Pau and Nice there is hardly any flat terrain at all,” said route architect Thierry Gouvenou.