Biniam Girmay outsprints rivals to win Gent-Wevelgem

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Biniam Girmay produced the biggest win of his career by outsprinting his breakaway companions in the one-day Gent-Wevelgem classic race.

The 21-year-old rider from Eritrea was part of a four-man group that resisted the peloton’s chase in the 249-kilometer (154.7-mile) race through Belgium.

“I came here last minute and I made cycling history. Congratulations to African Cycling and all African riders,” said Girmay, the first rider from a sub-Saharan country to win a one-day classic, in comments released by his team Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert.

Girmay launched the sprint from the back of the group in the final dash to the line to edge Christophe Laporte of France and Dries Van Gestel of Belgium. Another Belgian rider, Jasper Stuyven, was fourth.

Italian world champion Elisa Balsamo won the women’s race in a sprint ahead of Marianne Vos of the Netherlands and Maria Giulia Confalonieri of Italy.