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Tour de France

First podium for Biniam Girmay

This Friday 7th of July, Biniam Girmay offered team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty its first podium in the 110th edition of the Tour de France by taking third place in the bunch sprint which decided about the outcome of the seventh stage. 

After two days in the Pyrenees, the sprinters had the opportunity to battle for the victory in a stage of 170 kilometer between Mont-de-Marsan and Bordeaux with unique difficulty the short climb of Beguey situated with 30 kilometer to go. 

Behind Simon Gugliemi, the unique rider in the breakaway in the first race half, Biniam Girmay was the fastest in the peloton taking second place in the intermediate sprint counting for the green jersey, situated halfway through the race in Grignols.

Before the final sprint for the stage win, Biniam Girmay was led by his sprint train composed of Dion Smith, Adrien Petit and Mike Teunissen. Just before the red flag he was brought to the front by Smith and then he benefited from a last effort of Petit to start his effort in a good position.

Even though he was closed in alongside the barriers because of Jasper Philipsen when he wanted to launch his sprint with 150 meter to go, Girmay managed to pursue his effort to take third place behind the Belgian sprinter Mark Cavendish.

“What made me happy today is that I managed to show that I am here in the Tour de France to win a stage. And even more importantly, that I reached the finish line safely. In dangerous sprints like today it is important that everyone respects the rules and sprints in a straight line. I really felt in danger when I hit the barriers with my foot. It could have ended in a nightmare for me and all riders behind. Anyway, I am proud to take my first podium in my first ever Tour de France. It shows that my condition is growing. Dion Smith and the rest of the team did a fantastic job in the final kilometers. Collectively we are becoming stronger day by day, so I’m confident for tomorrow. With the harder profile we expect a smaller group to sprint for the victory and that’s what I prefer.”

"With the sports directors we watched the sprint several times after the race. I went to the jury because in our opinion the sprint of Philipsen was not correct. He did not sprint in a straight line and dangerously moved to the right. In consequence, Biniam was pushed towards the barriers and luckily, he could avoid a crash. The jury did not agree with our vision. It is a pity, because we are convinced that the security is the highest priority for the whole peloton. Luckily, nobody crashed. But if Biniam did crash, the movement of Jasper Philipsen would undoubtedly have been qualified as a dangerous move."


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