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Giro d’Italia: New goals for Biniam Girmay – Green jersey at Tour de France as an option for sprinters from Eritrea

Giro d’Italia: New goals for Biniam Girmay – Green jersey at Tour de France as an option for sprinters from Eritrea
Written by insideindyhomes

It was a historic victory for Girmay when he sprinted down Mathieu van der Poel on the 10th Giro stage and became the first African to win a Giro stage.
But a little later, the mishap when the 22-year-old seriously injured his eye. The consequence: a forced break followed by a reorientation of his planning.

“It’s a huge loss for his team, which is difficult to absorb,” analyzed Eurosport expert Bernie Eisel the situation around Girmay at Intermarché. After the great performance on Tuesday and the euphoria of victory, the racing team will now have difficulties repositioning themselves at this Giro. “Domenico Pozzovivo will continue to be involved in the overall standings, but it won’t be easy for the other drivers to adjust,” said Eisel.

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From his point of view, there was no alternative to Girmay’s exit: “With physical exertion, the pressure in the eye increases, that’s too great a risk,” explains the Austrian, “there was no chance of continuing” – not even easily behind the field for some stages.

The end for the winner of Gent-Wevelgem was particularly bitter because he had caught up with leader Arnaud Démare in the points classification by winning the stage. “The maglia ciclamino was within reach for him,” emphasizes Eisel, as a sprinter with strong climbing ability, Girmay would have had an advantage over the Frenchman in the second half of the Giro. “He could have gone chasing points in intermediate sprints like Peter Sagan or Michael Matthews on the mountain stages without Démare being able to defend himself,” explains the Eurosport expert.

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Tour de France: Girmay can get green

With Sagan and Matthews, however, Girmay could possibly dueling in July. Because after the Giro, a start in the Tour de France comes into view for the U23 vice world champion of 2021. Girmay was originally not scheduled to start the Tour of France on July 1 in Copenhagen at Intermarché, but the break would now be long enough to recover from the injury and be back in top form in time for the “grande boucle”.

Girmay could well share the role of captain in the sprints with sprint veteran Alexander Kristoff, as the former is not in his element on difficult sprint stages. It was precisely on such terrain that Girmay shone at the Giro (stages 1 and 10). “I trust him to win stages on the tour – and the green jersey would also be possible,” Eisel is convinced.

Fabian Wegmann unreservedly agrees: “He has all the prerequisites,” said the three-time German champion in the Eurosport Velo Club, “he could take the next step and write history again”:

Being the first African to conquer and win the maillot vert would open a new chapter in the Asmaranian’s fairytale story.
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