In a historic achievement, Biniam Girmay sprinted to victory in the third stage of the Tour de France, becoming the first Black African rider to win a stage in the prestigious race. The Eritrean cyclist edged out Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie in a thrilling finish in Turin.

Reflecting on his triumph, Girmay said, “Ever since I started cycling, I’ve always been dreaming to be part of the Tour de France – but now, I can’t believe it, to win the Tour de France in my second year in a big bunch sprint, for me it is unbelievable. I just want to thank my family, my wife, all the Eritreans, and Africans, we must be proud, now we are really part of the big races, now it’s our moment, our time. I just want to say congrats to all my whole team, because we didn’t have a victory yet [in the Tour de France]. But now is our moment, I’m super-happy. This win is for all Africans, congrats, I’m just super happy today.”

Intermarché-Wanty’s performance director Aike Visbeek noted the broader significance of Girmay’s win: “There is a whole continent that has been waiting for this. It’s been done now, and I hope it will open the floodgates for more riders from Africa. He’s an ambassador in every way.”

The 231-kilometre stage from Piacenza to Turin saw Mark Cavendish’s pursuit of a record-breaking 35th stage win thwarted by a crash ahead of him in the final stretch. The incident forced Cavendish to brake hard, relegating him to 113th place, although he was awarded the same finishing time as the leaders due to the crash occurring within the final five kilometres.

Cavendish commented on the crash, saying, “My chances were ruined by that crash. I wasn’t the only one, but I was lucky to stay up. I could see it happening and I could hear it. I’m too little to see what is going on in crashes but I can hear it. I can see people ahead of me, as you go full on with the brakes.”

Biniam Girmay wins
(Photo Credit: Getty)

Richard Carapaz seized the yellow jersey from Tadej Pogačar, becoming the first Ecuadorean to lead the Tour de France. Despite being caught in the chaos of the crash, Carapaz finished in the front group, benefiting from his higher placing to take the overall lead.

“It’s a surprise for us. We thought it would be difficult, but today I felt good and think it was worth the risk. I had to play for it and had to try to go for it. The team has done incredible work until the end. I’m really happy,” Carapaz said. “Taking the yellow jersey was the goal that we set in the team meeting and on the bus this morning. We knew it was a dangerous day because the first sprint of the Tour de France is nervous and tricky. The team rode really well. Alberto Bettiol, for example, was there and did a great pull at three kilometres to go. Afterwards, Marijn van den Berg sprinted alongside me to keep me safe. It was a team effort.”

Meanwhile, Fabio Jakobsen took seventh place in the sprint, crediting his team for their efforts in setting up the finale. Jakobsen remarked, “It was a bit of a rollercoaster in the finale with everyone looking for gaps. I stuck with the guys and I think we did a good first sprint here teamwork wise and they positioned me so I was in the first five wheels around the last corner. In the end I wasn’t super close to winning, but I’ve also really been struggling the past few days. Today gives confidence though. It’s a strong sprinting field here, you can expect that in the Tour but I think today showed that we can definitely compete here in the sprints.”

Carapaz, Pogačar, Remco Evenepoel, and Jonas Vingegaard remain on equal time, with Carapaz’s superior stage placing putting him in yellow.

The race now heads into the mountains, with the fourth stage from Pinerolo to Valloire featuring the gruelling Col du Galibier and will be one for the climbers. Carapaz, aware of the challenge ahead, stated, “Tomorrow will be a big day. It will be complicated. I’m going to try and give everything. I will try and enjoy every moment in the yellow jersey.”

2024 Tour de France Stage 3 result

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Main photo credit: ASO