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Biniam Girmay will be with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux through 2026.
It was confirmed Saturday that the Eritrean ace extended his contract a further two seasons to see him with the Belgian Intermarché team for four more full seasons, marking one of the longest deals in the pro peloton.
“Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is my family, there’s no other place I would rather be,” Girmay said. “I’m as motivated as ever to defend the team’s colors until at least 2026. I feel happy in this team and that’s what counts most, because that’s what enables me to give the best of myself.”
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Rumors in the past month had suggested Girmay was set to be poached by Ineos Grenadiers, but the new contract extension suggests the Eritrean is thinking “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Girmay has been one of the sport’s breakout stars since he joined Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux from the now-defunct Delko squad last summer.
Then only 21, Girmay made history by becoming the first Eritrean to hit a podium at last year’s road worlds, finishing second at the U23 race in Leuven.
The momentum kept rolling from there.
Victory at Trofeo Alcudia this winter set up a spring that saw him finish fifth at the E3 classic before again making history by winning Gent-Wevelgem.
Girmay’s far-reaching deal puts him on a level with riders like João Almeida and Remco Evenepoel, who are also signed through 2026.
Intermarché’s investment also shows Girmay’s standing in the pro peloton as one of the sport’s brightest young stars. Only Tadej Pogačar has been booked up longer with his contract stretching through 2027.
“Continuing the adventure we started last summer with Biniam Girmay was a matter of course,” said team CEO Jean-François Bourlar.
“From his first pedal strokes in our colors we have been able to welcome him as a family and at the same time offer him a long-term plan and a performance-oriented structure, thanks to our members, our experts, our technical partners, etcetera. I was convinced that he would be the first African winner of a major classic. But he has been faster than our predictions, so much the better!”
Giro goals and classics ambitions
Girmay returns to racing Sunday at Eschborn-Frankfurt classic.
After that comes a highly-anticipated grand tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, where he’s expected to be elbowing alongside star sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan.
“Biniam will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia, his first grand tour, with the goal of winning a stage and we especially want to get well through those three weeks,” said performance manager Aike Visbeek.
“In the future, we will keep our focus on his development in the Flemish classics and the sprint. Together, with the management and the Performance cell, we have a clear idea of how we can reach the next steps with Biniam so we are looking to the future with confidence.”
Girmay was given a hero’s welcome when he flew back to Eritrea after winning Gent-Wevelgem.
He’s hoping there will be plenty more to celebrate through the coming seasons.
“I’m convinced that my compatriots will be happy to hear that my future is intertwined with the team who gave me the opportunity to write important pages of African cycling history,” he said. “It is a winning combination which will hopefully lead to many more unforgettable moments in the next years!