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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia stage 10: Biniam Girmay dashes to historic victory in wild finale

Van der Poel sat up before the line and gave Girmay the ‘thumbs-up’ sign.

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Biniam Girmay sprinted to a historic victory in a reduced bunch sprint in Tuesday’s 10th stage at the Giro d’Italia.

Girmay opened up early and fended off Mathieu van der Poel to win the stage, a first by an Eritrean rider and the first by a Black African rider to win a grand tour stage.

Van der Poel tried to come around Girmay, but Girmay turned on the afterburners and the Dutchman sat up before the line and gave Girmay a thumbs-up as he rolled through the finish.

“All the team was working all day, including the GC riders, and they did a great job,” Girmay said. “We knew when we started we knew we had possibilities to win a stage. I made history thanks to my team, my family, the support from the people of my country. This victory belongs to them also. I am thankful and happy that I was able to pay back the team for a win.”

The peloton was left in shards following a hilly and attack-riddled finale that saw some spicy action. Overnight leader Juanpe López (Trek-Segafredo) finished in the fractured front group to retain the pink jersey in a wild stage even though teams were coming after him.

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A hilly profile in the closing half of the stage saw a few of the top sprinters unable to stay on the wheel, including Caleb Ewan, Mark Cavendish, and Arnaud Démare.

With opportunities running out for sprinters in this Giro, the pressure was on to deliver, but a late climb blew up the bunch.

The peloton clicked back into gear Tuesday after the Giro’s second rest day with the 196km stage from Pescara to Jesi expecting a rather routine stage.

The first half of the stage was dead flat, but the hilly second half saw some surprisingly tangy action.

A three-rider breakaway opened up a promising gap, but the sprinter teams did the work to neutralize it in the closing 20km to set up the wild finale.

Tobias Foss tried to jump on the final climb in the closing 10km. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and Alpecin-Fenix took control across the stage, and Foss was duly reeled in.

Ineos Grenadiers drove the front on the final climb to keep Richard Carapaz — who crashed earlier in the stage — safe. The fun had just started.

Alessandro Covi jumped with 9km to go, forcing the others to chase. The furious chase saw fractures in the GC group as well as among the sprinters.

The leaders regrouped for the fast run to the line, but not before Vincenzo Nibali tried a surge on the descent.

Van der Poel jumped with 4.5km to go and put everyone on the rivet. Once caught, Carapaz attacked and all the GC riders were surprisingly under pressure. López stood firm and fended off a serious challenge to his pink jersey.

Then it was Hugh Carthy’s turn for a dig, before being caught with 1.4km to go.

A breakaway tries its luck

Mathieu van der Poel was forced to chase back after a mid-race mechanical. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

A three-rider breakaway pulled clear early, and tried in vain to open up some measurable terrain.

Riding into the group were Lawrence Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën), Matti Bais (Drone Hopper), and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech). The trio collaborated, but Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux massed riders at the front.

After five top-5’s so far in this Giro, Intermarché’s Biniam Girmay wanted to give it another go on a profile that would prove challenging for some of the purest sprinters and anyone with weary legs.

The opening half of the stage was flat before crossing some hill country in the closing second half. Though there were only three rated climbs, it was up and down all the way to the line.

With 55km to go, Van der Poel suffered a mechanical and then misjudged the gearing, but easily chased back on just as the speed was ramping up.

The stage rode through the Marche region of Italy and the hometown of former pro Michele Scarponi, who was killed five years ago in a training ride when he was struck by a vehicle.

With the gap down to one minute, some riders started to jump off the front at 32km to go. Chris-Juul Jensen tried to make a move, but Alepcin-Fenix and Intermarché were all over it.

De Marchi was the last man standing from the breakaway, and dangled off the front before the group reeled him in with 20km to go.

Richard Carapaz shakes off early spill, Caleb Ewan gapped

The Giro clicked back into gear Tuesday after the second rest day. (Photo: LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz shook off a spill with about 80km to go in Tuesday’s 10th stage at the Giro d’Italia.

The Ineos Grenadiers captain was out the back of the peloton after apparently falling off his bike. His jersey was covered with straws of hay and the team pulled him back into the bunch with about 80km to go.

With about 55km to go, Carapaz was spotted chasing back again.

Carapaz appeared uninjured, after starting Tuesday’s stage in fourth overall, at 15 seconds back.

With nearly 80km remaining on the rolling stage, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was gapped off the back and was riding alone without the support of any teammates, with two hours left in the stage.

Temperatures climbed throughout the stage, and riders were placing bags of ice into their jerseys to stay cool.

Tomorrow’s stage: Another chance for the sprinters

The 2022 Giro continues Wednesday with the 203km 11th stage from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia. 

The pancake-flat stage crosses the Po Valley and doesn’t feature one rated climb. The stage pushes through Bologna and roars into Reggio Emilia for what’s all but sure to be a bunch sprint.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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