Giro d’Italia, stage 10 | Girmay writes history – van der Poel gambles: three things that stand out

When the first Giro d’Italia was held in 1909, Eritrea was still a colony of the Italian kingdom – on 17 May 2022, a rider from the Eritrean capital Asmara crowned himself king of the 10th stage of the trip.

Biniam Girmay’s triumph was not sensational given his success over the last few months and his strong form since its inception in Budapest, but it was certainly historic.

The recognition of the other drivers in the field for his coup was as great as the joy of the brilliant winner. The thumbs up from Mathieu van der Poel and the warm congratulations from the pink jersey Juan Pedro Lopez were just the most visible signs of this.

Giro d’Italia

Girmay sprints down van der Poel and writes Giro for history


Team Bora also had reason to be happy: Wilco Kelderman came back in fourth place after the low blow in Blockhaus and the lead on the team rankings was extended.

Three things that stood out on stage 10:

1.) Teamwork the key to Girmay’s victory

“I have no words for what my team did for me on the road today!” The proud winner knew that the coup in Jesi was not only due to his class and quick legs. Thanking the team is a mandatory exercise in winning interviews, which has sometimes become a cliché, but Girmay seemed deeply impressed by the support of his racing team in the hours before – and rightly so.

The drivers from Intermarché had given everything for him unconditionally throughout the day – first they chased the escapees, then prepared for the final. “Everyone has worked for me, including everyone who’s fighting for a place in the overall standings,” Girmay said enthusiastically. “Domenico Pozzovivo was fantastic,” he stressed the 39-year-old, who was still speeding for him with the last kilometer, “he pushed me to victory when he shouted at me with 600 meters back: Come on!”

For Girmay, the success of the Giro is probably just a stopover, just like silver at the World Cup in U23 last autumn or the victory in Ghent – Wevelgem in the spring. The 22-year-old is far from reaching his peak, several stage victories and points on this Giro are just the next points on the list – if he can continue on Wednesday,

The long-term goal is the World Championships in Rwanda in 2025. Until then, he should continue to shine in the classics as well as in the big tours and expand his palmarès sharply: His racing team deliberately extended his contract until 2026 in the spring.

“The first attempt was incredible”: Eisel analyzes Girmay’s sprint

2.) Van der Poel gambler

“This victory is also so special because it was fought against a great champion,” added Girmay’s sporting director Valerio Piva his protégé, but also sprint opponent Mathieu van der Poel. In fact, any success is more valuable if the opponent had the appropriate format – and a rival in such terrain can not be much stronger than “MVDP”. At the Giro opening in Hungary, the superstar from Alpecin had the better finish in the final of the 1st stage, now Girmay took revenge.

The Dutchman, however, had done himself no favors with his racing tactics. That he lost a minute and a lot of energy in the race to catch up with a wheel change 55 kilometers from goal was still to be endured. But when he launched an attack the last few kilometers, it turned out to be the decisive mistake. “He left Körner and then had no more helpers by his side,” Eurosport expert Fabian Wegmann analyzed the situation at Velo Club.

Van der Poel openly admitted after the race that he had chosen the wrong tactic. “We assumed the last descent would be quite technical, so I would attack there and look for the decision. It was disappointing and I tried to recover a bit, but this attack really hurt.”

Error in roadside assistance to van der Poel: “Not covered in glory”

3.) Remembering Scarponi makes sports a minor matter

Michele Scarponi’s fatal accident was five years ago, but the 2011 giro winner is not only unforgettable in his hometown of Filottrano.

The passage of the Tour of Italy through the city decorated in his honor reminded me how quickly nothing from one moment to the next can become as it was. Although the field could not stop, as was usually the case at the Tour de France at the scene of Fabio Casartelli’s death – the memory of such dramas must always be present.

In Scarponi’s case, memory is all the more important because it was not a racing accident, but a fatal accident on the road – where, unfortunately, the most serious accidents happen to cyclists as victims every day.

The “Michele Scarponi Foundation” has therefore been fighting for more road safety for years with many campaigns and programs – always in line with the message from their new banner at the accident site: “Respect the cyclist!”

The parrot Frankje is waiting at the roadside: the Giro is reminiscent of Scarponi

Giro 2022 live on free TV on Eurosport 1 and on Eurosport on Joyn!
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