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Biniam Girmay signs a new long term contract

Biniam Girmay Hailu stays loyal to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The 22 year old Eritrean rider signed a new long term contract with the Belgian team until the end of 2026.

Since his arrival in 2021, the rider from Asmara performed incredibly well. He entered cycling history by winning a silver medal at the U23 World Championships in Leuven and became the first African rider to win a major race thanks to his victory in Ghent-Wevelgem in March, at the age of only 21.

This historical succes intervened two days after an impressive performance at the E3 Classic Harelbeke, his very first Flemish classic in which he finished fifth. One week earlier, he took twelfth place in Milano-Sanremo whereas he was participating in his first ever Monument.

Biniam Girmay combines his qualities of a classics specialist with his fast legs, who enabled him to win the Trofeo Alcúdia on his second race day of the season, before finishing three times among the best six riders in his first Paris-Nice. Last year, his leg speed also enabled him to defeat his competitors in the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs, his first victory on European soil. 

His performances in season 2021 were crowned with the overall victory in the UCI Africa Tour, meaning that he was the African rider with most UCI points. He was also awarded the title of African cyclist of the year for the second time in a row.

This Sunday, Biniam Girmay will return into competition one month after his historical success in Ghent-Wevelgem, on the occasion of the classic Eschborn-Frankfurt, alongside four-time winner Alexander Kristoff.

« Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is my family, there’s no other place I would rather be. I’m as motivated as ever to defend the team’s colors until at least 2026. I feel happy in this team and that’s what counts most, because that’s what enables me to give the best of myself. There’s also this shared ambition, all team members head in the same direction with the aim of reaching new milestones each year. These dynamics push everyone to surpass themselves. Another factor that distinguishes Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux from any other team is its management. From the first day, the Performance cell listened to my needs and showed its confidence by establishing a tailored race program and a long term plan. They believed in my capabilities of performing in the most prestigious races and I’m very grateful for that. I’m convinced that my compatriots will be happy to hear that my future is intertwined with the team who gave me the opportunity to write important pages of African cycling history. It is a winning combination which will hopefully lead to many more unforgettable moments in the next years! »

« Continuing the adventure we started last summer with Biniam Girmay was a matter of course. We have always believed in his capabilities and his talent and this is probably what convinced him to join our project last year when he had to reorientate his career. From his first pedal strokes in our colors we have been able to welcome him as a family and at the same time offer him a long term plan and a performance oriented structure, thanks to our members, our experts, our technical partners etc. I was convinced that he would be the first African winner of a major classic. But he has been faster than our predictions, so much the better! We are proud that we can continue working with Biniam until at least the end of 2026. This offers us nice perspectives in line with our long term philosophy, which has always been based on long relationships with our partners. Let’s not forget that Biniam is only 22 years old and that we cannot cut corners in his development. I’m convinced that we can surround him with the right people and a good team and that Biniam and our other riders will offer us many more exceptional emotions! »

« I’m very proud on the rapid development of both the team and of Biniam Girmay! Thanks to our effort in terms of scouting we managed to create an excellent base for the future. Biniam presented himself als the precursor of this new generation of IWG riders. Biniam aspires to feel fulfilled in a professional environment more than anything else. The family atmosphere that we managed to preserve throughout the years thanks to the contribution of everyone, enables us to create an ideal performance climate. To guarantee the development of young talents such as Biniam, we balance our roster with the presence of very experienced riders. The mutual confidence we have built with Biniam has a positive influence on his performances. Next Friday, we start the second phase of the long term plan which we established with Biniam. He will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia, his first Grand Tour, with the goal of winning a stage and we especially want to get well through those three weeks. In the future, we will keep our focus on his development in the Flemish classics and the sprint. Together, with the management and the Performance cell, we have a clear idea of how we can reach the next steps with Biniam so we are looking to the future with confidence. Taking into account his young age, we consider it important to take time for his development. In name of the management I want to thank Biniam and his management for the confidence in our project. »


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