Biniam Girmay shares photo of eye-catching new helmet design

Eritrean rider shares image of new boxing cork design on cafe stop during training ride

Biniam Girmay helmet
(Image credit: Biniam Girmay Instagram)

Biniam Girmay is back in racing action at the Tour de Wallonie for the first time since suffering a freak eye injury at the Giro d’Italia in May. 

Prior to starting the Belgian race, Girmay shared an image on his Instagram stories on social media. The image had clearly been taken at a cafe stop during a training ride, and featured a striking new helmet design as well as a delicious looking slice of cake.

The Eritraen's Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux team is sponsored by helmet brand Force, and Girmay had neatly positioned a new custom painted Orca lid next to his cup of coffee. On the side of the blue custom design is a - pun intended -eye-catching angry cork to make reference to his injury. 

Girmay made history at the Giro d’Italia by winning stage 10, beating the likes of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) to become the first African rider to ever win a stage at a grand-tour. 

Disaster - or more specifically a cork - would then strike, turning what was a dream day for the Eritrean into a calamity. On the podium, Girmay accidentally fired the cork from the celebratory bottle of stage winner's Prosecco stage winners received into his face. Initial injuries and the need for further checks forced the 22-year-old to then abandon the race

To add a touch of comedy to the new headwear, the cork is even wearing a pair of red boxing gloves to remind the world of when Girmay was given a good whack. 

Outside of his freak injury, Girmay has grabbed the headlines on other occasions this year.

The 22-year-old was left stunned after becoming the first African rider to win Gent-Wevelgem in March taking a hugely unexpected victory at the Belgian classic. 

Earlier in July, when discussing the lack of black African cyclists at the Tour de France Nic Dlamini said he hopes that other aspiring young black african riders can follow in Biniam Girmay’s footsteps as they look to further develop within the world of professional cycling. 

Depending on how his comeback goes in the coming months, the Eritrean is reportedly targeting the World Championships in Australia later in the year. 


Wout Van Aert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Girmay isn’t the only cycling superstar with his own custom lid.

Throughout the recent Tour de France, the Jumbo-Visma phenomenon Wout Van Aert, was seen wearing a Red Bull helmet.

When Van Aert won stage four in Calais whilst wearing the yellow jersey, he flapped his arms like a bird when he crossed the line in celebration. Red Bull’s catchphrase is of course that the energy drink ‘gives you wings’.

At the time, Van Aert was quick to play down the celebration and insisted that with his flapping arms, he “wanted to show that the jersey gives me wings”, nothing to do with being sponsored by the brand of course.  

Typically, the Belgian was seen wearing his Red Bull helmet during Cyclocross races but announced at the beginning of the year that he planned to wear it on the road.

The UCI doesn’t have any rules stopping riders from displaying personal sponsorship during races. Instead teams are the decision makers and regulate what personal sponsors their riders are allowed to showcase.

Three other professional cyclists have previously been seen wearing the same Red Bull helmets. Anton Palzer (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Justin Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles).

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.