The organization of the Giro d’Italia will look at how an incident like that of Biniam Girmay can be prevented from now on. The Eritrean got the cork of a bottle of prosecco hard in his eye during the podium ceremony on Tuesday and did not start on Wednesday.
The accident of stage winner Girmay was not an isolated incident. Earlier this Giro, Mathieu van der Poel and Koen Bouwman more or less had the same experience when they wanted to uncork a bottle of prosecco on stage. They were left without physical damage.
“Yesterday was really an accident. But the incidents have led us to look at how we can avoid such things in the future,” Giro organizer Mauro Vegni told Giro on Wednesday before the start of the eleventh stage. sporza†
The Italian regrets the incident and the loss of tastemaker Girmay. “That he now has to give up is really sad, first of all for himself. I hope he can return soon.” At the end of the eleventh stage, the cork had been removed from the prosecco bottle for stage winner Alberto Dainese.
For the app users: tap the tweet above for images of Biniam Girmay’s unfortunate moment.
“Why isn’t that bottle just open?”
Valerio Piva, the sports director of Girmay’s employer Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, believes that the podium ceremony in the Giro should be adjusted in any case. “Why can’t that bottle just be open on the podium, like in Formula 1?” he wondered aloud.
He did not yet say whether Girmay might ride the Tour now that his Giro is coming to an end soon. “I think it’s important to recover first and then finish the program as planned, including some one-day races in Belgium.”
The unfortunate incident with the cork was a setback for Girmay – who suffered a hemorrhage in his anterior chamber – after having just peaked just before. The 22-year-old rider defeated Van der Poel in the sprint and became the first black African to win a stage in a Grand Tour.
In the nine previous Giro stages, Girmay had already impressed by finishing in the top five of the day’s results five times. The cycling revelation already won its first WorldTour race at the end of March with Gent-Wevelgem.