Biniam Girmay, the first Eritrean cyclist to win a stage in the Grand Tours, was forced to abandon the Giro on Wednesday due to a haemorrhage in his left eye, following the incident with the sparkling cork on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, after the victory in the 10th stage of the Giro on the podium in Jesi, won against the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Girmay received the flowers and, taking away the bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate, the le cap came off and hit him in the left eye.
This Wednesday, the 22-year-old cyclist announced on social networks that he would no longer return to the race.
“Following the podium incident, medical examinations revealed hemorrhage in the anterior chamber of Biniam Girmay’s left eye. The injury is progressing positively and will be monitored by the team’s medical team in the coming days” , said the doctor from Intermarché-Wanty.-Gobert Matériaux, quoted in a press release from the Belgian team.
Piet Daneels goes on to explain that “in order to minimize the risks of hemorrhagic expansion and intraocular pressure, it is strongly recommended to avoid any physical activity”.
“Our priority is to complete the recovery from the injury and that is why we have decided, together with the rider and the sporting directors, that Biniam will not be at the start of the 11th stage” of the Vuelta d’Italia, added the doctor.
After being hit by the traffic jam, the first Eritrean to win a stage of a Grand Tour still proceeded to the podium protocol, but later he was assisted by the medical team of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and the organization itself and was taken to hospital for examinations. Additional information, confirmed this Tuesday by RCS Sport at the Cycling News portal.
Because of this unfortunate incident, the young rider, who had already made history by being the first Sub-Saharan to triumph in one of the great “classics”, by winning at Gent-Wevelgem, said goodbye to the Giro after writing a new – and rare – page in the book on diversity in sport.
Following in the footsteps of Briton Chris Froome, a man of Kenyan origin who won all three Grand Tours, the Eritrean on Tuesday became the first black African to win a stage in one of these races.
“Today, unfortunately, I won’t be starting the race, because I need a rest to ‘strengthen’ my eye,” Girmay said, in a video shared by his team, in which he says that he is doing “good” and is grateful for all the support he has received.
The 11th stage of the Giro connects, this Wednesday, Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia, over a total of 203 kilometers.