Biniam Girmay's stage 11 start in question after podium mishap

Eritrean stage-winner ends dream day in hospital after taking a champagne cork to his eye

Biniam Girmay
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There was a sour end to Biniam Girmay's historic day out at the Giro d'Italia as the Eritrean rider was taken to hospital after an accident on the podium.

During his celebrations, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider was struck in the eye with the cork while opening the bottle of Prosecco presented to stage winners.

He missed the planned post-race press conference with the media in order to be attended to by medical staff, after suffering the injury to his left eye.

Minutes earlier, Girmay had powered across the line in Jesi ahead of Mathieu van der Poel to become the first black African to win a stage of a Grand Tour. The painful end to the day is not the one that he or his team would have envisaged when he looked so ecstatic post-victory.

The 22-year-old is not the first to suffer problems with the cork on the podium Prosecco at this year's Giro. On stage one, Van der Poel hit himself in the face while fiddling with the opening of the bottle on the podium after his victory.

Race organisers said that the Eritrean was checked over by race and team doctors and then taken to a local hospital following the incident.

A Sporza reporter outside the hospital caught the stage winner as he left the hospital with a heavily bandaged eye. It seems the up-and-coming star is unlikely to be able to continue the Giro, though his team has yet to make an official announcement. 

More to follow in the morning...

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