Biniam Girmay made Giro history twice on Tuesday.
A first time by becoming the first black African rider to win a grand tour stage by winning the sprint in Jesi, on the Adriatic coast.
The second, when a few minutes later, the Eritrean took in the left eye the cork of the bottle of Prosecco intended to celebrate his victory.
Result: no mixed zone or press conference, a trip to the hospital and an abandonment announced Wednesday morning by his Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team.
“The examinations revealed a hemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay, slips the doctor of the Belgian formation, Piet Daneels.
The evolution of his injury is going in the right direction.
In order to minimize the risk of hemorrhagic expansion and intraocular pressure, it is strongly recommended to avoid intensive activities.
“And therefore to leave the transalpine race and to integrate in the same way the list of the most improbable packages in the history of sport.
😬 Oh no... Brilliant winner of the 10th stage of the #Giro, Biniam Girmay injured himself on the podium by taking the cap of a bottle of prosecco in the eye #LesRP https://t.co/pWTDRujF8I pic.twitter.com/313ohJWL9W
– Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) May 17, 2022
A bad publicity stunt for Astoria, one of the Giro's sponsors, which supplies the bottles of this sparkling wine for the race podiums.
Contacted by Le Parisien, the company sent us a press release signed by the CEO of the company based near Treviso, in the northeast of the country, Filippo Polegato.
"We hope he can recover"
“We are very sorry for what happened to Biniam Girmay, on a day that made us vibrate more than the others thanks to the first victory of a colored athlete on the Tour of Italy, explains he.
We are close to him and his team.
We hope that, as seems to be the case, he can recover soon.
We hope to have him one day as a guest in Treviso, on the slopes of Prosecco.
In his defense, the 22-year-old Eritrean who had already created a sensation by winning the Belgian classic Ghent-Wevelgem in March, is not the only one to have been surprised by this cork projectile during the 2022 edition of the race.
On the day of the first stage in Hungary, the first winner of this Giro 2022, the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, had also received the cap of the imposing bottle on the face before being sprayed with Prosecco.
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) May 6, 2022
Astoria, which sells a bottle in the colors of the Giro 2022 on its online store for the sum of 9.35 euros, has been associated with the Italian race since 2012. Last year, the company designed a special numbered series in tribute to the transalpine cyclist Michele Scarponi, who died in 2017 in a road accident.
The proceeds from the sale of the bottles to the foundation that bears his name, explained in May 2021 Treviso Today.
The Giro is the last of the three great laps to sprinkle sparkling wine on these ceremonial podiums.
Amaury Sport Organisation, organizer of the Tours of France and Spain, tells Le Parisien that the Vuelta, where successes were celebrated with cava, put an end to this tradition in 2018. On the Grande Boucle, champagne is only uncorked l he final day, when the winner raises a toast during the first kilometers of the last stage of the race.