Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay became the first Black African rider to win a Tour de France stage Monday when he sprinted to victory in the third stage. 

Girmay said his win was “for all Africans.” 

“We must be proud now. We are really part of the big races,” Girmay said. “Now it’s our moment. It’s our time.” 

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish’s pursuit of a record-breaking 35th stage win was postponed by a crash ahead of him in the finale, and Olympic champion Richard Carapaz took the yellow jersey from Tadej Pogacar — making him the first Ecuadorean to lead cycling’s biggest race. 

Girmay also made history in Italy two years ago when he won a stage at the Giro d’Italia to become the first Black African to take a victory in a Grand Tour, the term that encompasses the three major three-week races: the Giro, the Tour and the Spanish Vuelta. 

But Girmay’s Giro victory was marred when he was rushed to a hospital after getting hit in the left eye by a prosecco cork he popped open during the podium celebration — forcing him to abandon the race. 

The 39-year-old Cavendish has been tied with Eddy Merckx on 34 wins for three years and put off retirement to try again this year to break the record. 

The mostly flat 144-mile leg from Piacenza to Turin — the longest stage of this year’s Tour — provided the first chance for a mass sprint. But there will be at least a handful of other opportunities for sprinters after the race crosses back into France following the first four stages in Italy. 

Girmay finished just ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud De Lie. 

Cavendish crossed 113th but was given the same finishing time as Girmay as per rules that neutralize the times in case of crashes in the final five kilometers. 

Pogacar dropped to second overall, with the same time as Carapaz. 

Remco Evenepoel — the 2022 world champion and Spanish Vuelta winner — is third overall; and two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard is fourth, both also with the same time as Carapaz. 





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