Biniam Girmay claims historic win at 2022 Gent-Wevelgem

The Eritrean rider became the first African to triumph at a classic race by winning the 78th edition of the Gent-Wevelgem after 243km of racing.

By Olympics.com

Eritrea's Biniam Girmay has won the 78th editions of the Gent-Wevelgem road cycling classic race on Sunday (27 March).

The 21-year-old African rider was the fastest in a four-man sprint as he beat Christophe Laporte, second, with Dries van Gestel in third.

"It's unbelievable, amazing. I didn't expect this. We just changed my plan a few days ago on Friday. We just came for a good result. This race is amazing. Unbelievable," Girmay said after the finish.

With 24km to go, the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux rider joined a small breakaway which also included former Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyven.

"I lost many places, especially on the first section and on the first cobblestones. I felt a bit uncomfortable. But after that, I felt better and better, I rode smart and followed. Then in the end, you know, everybody was waiting for (Wout) Van Aert so I played it a bit easy."

The Eritrean launched his final dash very early, but he managed to hold off Laporte and claim his biggest career's win:

"Of course I felt much better but also there were really strong guys with me so I was a bit afraid. But I felt confident in the last 250m. It's unbelievable, yeah."

Girmay, who won silver at the last under-23 men's world road race, became the first African rider to triumph at a classic race.

"The future has already changed for me and for all African riders," he said.

2022 Gent-Wevelgem - Results

  1. Biniam Girmay (ERI, Intermarche WG)
  2. Christophe Laporte (FRA, Jumbo-Visma)
  3. Dries van Gestel (BEL, Team TotalEnergies)
  4. Jasper Stuyven (BEL, Trek-Segafredo)
  5. Soren Andersen (DEN, Team DSM)

GO OLYMPIC. GET ALL THIS.

Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.