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Biniam Girmay (6th) conquers the white jersey

The opening stage in Paris-Nice (2.UWT) around Mantes-La-Ville this Sunday first saw a breakaway of Aime De Gendtand Holmes (Lotto). The two men led the race for more than 70 kilometer, but pressure reigned in the peloton and the duo was not given much freedom.

Once the leaders were caught halfway through the stage, rhythm changes caused incidents in the peloton. One of them involved Biniam Girmay, the protected rider of the Belgian World Team, but without panicking the Eritrean rider made his way back to the front of the peloton, while three riders set up a new breakaway.

The two local laps contained the Breuil-Bois-Robert climb (1.2 km at 6.9%) and first put an end to the attempt of the trio before giving the Jumbo-Visma team the opportunity to accelerate and make a selection within the sprinters. Girmay, who participates in the Race to the Sun for the first time, managed to climb with the best riders before sprinting to second place in the peloton, finishing sixth in total. In this way, the 21 year old rider conquered the white jersey as best young rider.

« Everyone in Eritrea could see live on television how I conquered the white jersey and this makes me incredibly happy. My position at the foot of the Breuil-Bois-Robert climb was not ideal so I missed the breakaway of the Jumbo-Visma riders, but my sprint made up for it. It was a hard day and I hope for the same legs tomorrow. I can rely on the support and the confidence of the whole team. Their experience in the crosswinds is very valuable, I’m very excited for positioning battles. I can’t wait to discover how it feels to compete with this white jersey on my shoulders! »

« My presence in the early breakaway opened doors to the polkadot jersey, but in the end I finished this first nice day in second position in this classification. It wasn’t easy to battle against the peloton with just the two of us, because we didn’t receive a lot of freedom from the peloton. So it didn’t really surprise me that we were caught quite early. There are definitely more possibilities to try it again the next couple of days, and hopefully there will be more candidates to join me on the attack. »


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