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World Championships U23

Biniam Girmay makes history

This Friday, Biniam Girmay Hailu represented Eritrea at the U23 World Championships. The rider who joined Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert in August was considered as one of the riders to watch during the race of 161.1 kilometer between thee historical cities of Antwerp and Leuven. And at the age of 21, Girmay rose to the occasion by displaying an impressive and mature performance. 

He was omnipresent at the front of the peloton from the first to the last kilometer of the race, thus avoiding problems on the Flandrien circuit in Overijse, despite the nervousness and numerous crashes in the beginning phase. Girmay left the final cobble section in a peloton of forty riders, which had just swallowed the early breakaway.

A very attractive race followed on the circuit in Leuven, so it was unclear until the finish whether the race would end in a group sprint or not. Girmay remained patient and kept positioning well, he survived the uncountable rhythm changes in the city centre and headed towards the final five kilometers within a heavily skimmed peloton.

Italian rider Baroncini took advantage of a lull in the approach to the final kilometer, and distanced his competitors in no time. Thanks to a mind-blowing finish, Biniam Girmay went past his competitors one by one to win the bunch sprint, 2 seconds behind the new world champion.

By earning the silver medal, Biniam Girmay Hailu makes history as the first rider of Eritrea and black Africa to finish on the podium of the World Championships. It is an interesting fact, knowing that the 2025 Road World Championships were assigned to Rwanda the day before. Girmay became the first medallist from Africa since his teammate at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Louis Meintjes (South Africa) took second place in 2013, also in the U23 road race.  

« It was a nervous race from the start. I was attentive and tried to stay out of trouble as much as possible. I could rely on the support of my teammates and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. We realized that several nations took control of the peloton to organize a bunch sprint, so we chose to patiently wait for the final. We were confident for the sprint, because I performed well in this exercise the last couple of weeks. There was a tough battle for positions in the final kilometer, but I felt strong enough to keep calm and hide, taking the risk to be blocked. I'm very proud on what I just achieved, this silver medal means a lot to Eritrea, and also for Africa. I'm convinced that the future of my country is bright, because we have a great potential. We're working hard for several years already to develop it and with some additional experience more results like this will follow. I'm looking towards the future with hope, it would be a dream to go to Rwanda in 2025 with the ambition of converting this silver medal in a rainbow jersey. It is also an honor for me to achieve this result here, in Belgium, the land of my team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. This structure offered me the opportunity to show myself on the highest level in international cycling. The team encouraged me and supported me from the first day. That's why I also want to thank them. »


1.Filippo BaronciniItaly3:37:36
3.Olav KooijNetherlands+0:02

General Classification


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