Biniam Girmay out of Giro d’Italia after eye injury caused by prosecco cork

Getty Images
6 Comments

JESI, Italy — An accident with a prosecco cork while celebrating his historic stage victory at the Giro d’Italia forced Biniam Girmay to pull out of the race.

The Eritrean rider became the first Black African to win a stage at a grand tour when he beat Mathieu van der Poel in the sprint to the line in Jesi in Stage 10. But he had to be taken to a local hospital after getting injured when he popped a prosecco cork into his left eye during the podium celebration.

Medical tests revealed a hemorrhage in his eye and the team doctor said it was “strongly recommended” he avoid physical activity.

“The news about the incident felt like a cold shower,” said Girmay’s team director, Valerio Piva. “It is of course a pity to lose an element like Biniam, but the advice of the medical team is clear and the health of Biniam is our priority.”

The 22-year-old Girmay still celebrated with his Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux teammates when he returned from the hospital.

“When I arrived after the hospital, the bad moment, I enjoy a bit with my teammates, the staff, everybody,” Girmay said in a video on his team’s social media channel. “I’m also happy now. I was a bit sad about what happened with the champagne but when I come back to the hotel they were super happy also.

“They were a bit afraid but when I looked OK we really enjoyed. But today luckily I didn’t start the race because still my eyes, I need some rest to give more power to the eye . I’m OK now, see you soon.”

In March, Girmay became the first rider from a sub-Saharan country to win a single-day classic at the Gent-Wevelgem race.

Girmay almost won the Giro’s opening stage this year, for which he would have also worn the famous pink jersey of the overall leader. But he was edged by Van der Poel – one of the top riders in the sport – in a chaotic bunch sprint in Hungary.

“From the opening stage, Biniam Girmay showed that we were right to believe in our chances to win a stage,” Piva said. “It is remarkable to see how his teammates go though fire each day to obtain the best possible result and how happy everyone is to work with him.”

Giro d’Italia to start on former railway line in Abruzzo

Getty Images
2 Comments

L’AQUILA, Italy — The 2023 edition of the Giro d’Italia will start with an individual time trial on a coastal cycle path that has been recreated from a former railway line in the region of Abruzzo.

At a ceremony in the Abruzzo capital of L’Aquila, race organizers announced that the Grand Tour will run from May 6-28 and begin with an 18.4-kilometer (11.4-mile) time trial on the Adriatic coast.

Almost the entire time trial will be on the spectacular Costa dei Trabocchi cycle path that hugs the coast line before a short climb to the finish in Ortona.

“I am excited at the idea of the Grande Partenza (Big Start) of the Giro in Abruzzo . It is a dream come true, especially with regard to the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocchi,” said Trek-Segafredo cyclist Dario Cataldo, who is from the region.

“I well remember that when the cycle path project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of a Giro d’Italia passing along the route. It looked perfect.”

Stage 2 is a 204-kilometer (127-mile) leg from Teramo to San Salvo that is hilly in the first part but expected to end in a bunch sprint.

Stage 3 will also start in the Abruzzo region, in Vasto, but it will then head south and will be detailed when the full route is revealed on Oct. 17 in Milan.

The Giro will also return to the region for Stage 7, a daunting climb on the Gran Sasso d’Italia to Campo Imperatore. The high mountain stage, on May 12, will be the edition’s first finish above 2,000 meters.

Australian Jai Hindley won this year’s Giro.

Norway takes gold-medal lead at world road cycling titles

CYCLING-AUS-ROAD-WORLD
Getty Images
9 Comments

WOLLONGONG, Australia – Soren Waerenskjold repeated Norway’s gold medal success at the world road cycling championships a day after Tobias Foss finished first in the elite men’s time trial.

Waerenskjold won the men’s under-23 time trial on the second day of the championships with a dominant performance. He clocked 34 minutes, 13.40 seconds over the 28.8-kilometer course to beat Belgian Alec Segaert by 16.34 seconds.

British rider Leo Hayter, the younger brother of elite rider Ethan Hayter, was 24.16 seconds off the pace for the bronze medal.

Foss beat a strong field to win the elite time trial, the biggest win of his career.

Norway has two gold medals, while Dutch ace Ellen van Dijk beat Australian Grace Brown to take out the women’ elite time trial.

The mixed relay time trial is set for Wednesday. The championships conclude on the weekend with the women’s road race on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday.