Gallery: The day history was made at Gent-Wevelgem

by Matt de Neef

Biniam Girmay had been building towards something big. Late last year the Eritrean sprinter finished second in the U23 men’s race at Road Worlds – the first Black African to medal at Worlds. In January, the 21-year-old won his first race in Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux colours, at the Trofeo Alcúdia in Mallorca. At Paris-Nice and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic Girmay was again impressive, getting close to another win. But it was this Sunday just past that Girmay took the biggest victory of his young career, making history in the process.

By winning the sprint from a small group at Gent-Wevelgem, Girmay became the first African rider to win a Belgian Classic and the first Eritrean to win any WorldTour race. It was a landmark result, not just for Girmay himself – an exciting young sprinter on the rise – but also for the African cycling, a fledgling player in world cycling but a region brimming with considerable promise.

Here’s how the Eritrean’s history-making win looked courtesy of some wonderful photos from the Grubers – Ashley and Jered – and Kristof Ramon. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out José Been’s wonderful interview feature with Girmay from earlier this season.

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