'I want to be the next African history writer': Meet the young riders inspired by Biniam Girmay

Before May, no Black African had ever won a Grand Tour stage. Then Biniam Girmay came along and gave belief to the next generation

Biniam Girmay celebrating Giro d'Italia stage win
(Image credit: Getty)

There’s one piece of advice that 19-year-old Kiya Rogora has never forgotten. It was a warm September morning in 2021 and the Ethiopian was in the gothic Belgian city of Leuven, grabbing a coffee with his new hero Biniam Girmay.

The day before, the teenager had watched on as the Eritrean became the first Black African to win a medal at the Road World Championships, claiming silver in the men’s under-23 road race. Until that moment, Rogora had never seen someone like himself, someone with black skin, on a podium in Europe. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.