Giro d'Italia: History-maker Girmay withdraws after suffering freak eye injury

By Sports Desk May 18, 2022

Biniam Girmay has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia after suffering a freak eye injury following his historic stage 10 victory on Tuesday.

The Eritrean became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage when he sprinted away from Mathieu van der Poel in a sprint finish in Jesi.

Girmay's celebrations were cut short when he leaned down to open a bottle of champagne and was struck in the eye by the cork.

The 22-year-old was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that he sustained a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye.

Girmay was able to return to the team hotel on Tuesday evening, but did the Intermarche-Wanty Gobert rider will play no further part in the Giro.

Team doctor Piet Daneels said: "Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay.

"His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days. In order to minimize the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure,

"It is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that's why we decided together with the rider and the sports direction that Biniam will not appear at the start of the eleventh stage."

History-maker Girmay had finished second in the opening stage and secured another three top-five finishes before winning stage 10.

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