Cycling: Girmay causes a sensation

Wevelgem (dpa) – Huge sensation in cycling: Biniam Girmay from Eritrea was the first African to win the difficult classic Gent-Wevelgem and stole the show from the stars around Wout van Aert.

After 248.8 kilometers, the 21-year-old surprisingly won the sprint in a leading group of four in front of Frenchman Christophe Laporte and Belgian Dries van Gestel. German drivers played no role in the decision, Jonas Koch was the best in 22nd place.

“It’s incredible. I didn’t expect to win such a race,” said Girmay after his coup and sees a great future for African cycling: “A lot will change. We will have a bright future.”

Girmay repeatedly makes history

Girmay had already made history at the World Championships last year when he finished on the podium in second place in the U23 race. The 21-year-old came into professional cycling through the development program of the world association UCI. In the middle of last year, he finally switched to the WorldTour to the Belgian team Intermarché-Wanty Gobert.

This year Girmay really took off. On Mallorca he won the race in Alcudia. Strong performances followed at Milan-Sanremo (10th) and the E3 Prize (5th). However, he does not want to start in the Tour of Flanders next weekend. “I miss my wife, my daughter. I want to go home first.”

All eyes were on all-rounder van Aert. And the Belgian, who only won the E3 prize in Harelbeke on Friday, launched an attack on the Kemmelberg on the last climb. But the rivals didn’t let the Olympic silver medalist go this time. In the end he had to settle for twelfth place.

Nikias Arndt had played a good role for a long time. The 30-year-old belonged to a breakaway group that had been caught a good 65 kilometers from the finish.