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Giro d'Italia

Biniam Girmay only defeated by van der Poel


It was only his Grand Tour debut this Friday, but Biniam Girmay conquered the withe jersey as best young rider by taking second place in the opening stage of the Tour of Italy (2.UWT), defeated by only Mathieu Van der Poel.

The Belgian World Team made his performance possible by taking its responsibilities from the start on the Heroes’ Square in Budapest. Estonian rider Rein Taaramäe led the chase behind two leaders for more than 100 kilometer, neutralizing a gap of more than 11 minutes.

Once the breakaway was caught, the peloton took the direction of the final climb towards Visegrád (5.5 km at 4.2%). Several riders tried to avoid a group sprint with an attack, but that was without taking into account the sacrifices of Loïc Vliegen and Lorenzo Rota, who climbed at an intense rhythm enabling Biniam Girmay to sprint for the victory. 

With 250 meter to go, Girmay launched his explosive effort and was in the end only defeated by van der Poel, who took the pink jersey. Thanks to his performance, the 22 year old Eritrean rider will start the flat and technical 9.2 kilometer time trial through the streets of Budapest with the white jersey on his shoulders.

«  Yesterday, the team surprised me with t-shirts showing the lettering "Veni, Vidi, Bini", which reflect our ambition to win in this Tour of Italy. From the first stage, in my first Grand Tour, I was already close to achieve this and I'm very happy about it. I conquered the white jersey at the end of a fantastic collective performance and therefore I want to thank my teammates and staff. Rein Taaramäe, who controlled the breakaway and the rest of the team who protected me from the start and made the final hard. I launched my effort with more than 250 meter to go and I really dug deep. Mathieu van der Poel was the strongest today, but more opportunities are waiting for us. »

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