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Girmay wins Classic Grand Besançon Doubs 2021

Girmay wins Classic Grand Besançon Doubs

Girmay wins Classic Grand Besançon Doubs

Girmay wins Classic Grand Besançon Doubs

Eritrean claims first victory after mid-season transfer to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) wins the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs Besançon Doubs)

21-year-old Eritrean Biniam Girmay claimed his first major victory at the first edition of the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs three months after making a mid-season transfer from Delko to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.

Girmay beat Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) and Axel Zingle (Cofidis) from a seven-rider attack that included Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).

The escape formed after Groupama-FDJ closed down the day’s early breakaway when Quintana attacked on the last climb, the Col de la Grande Côte, with 13km to go. Pinot followed and Girmay, Luca Chirico (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Denis Nekrasov (Gazprom-RusVelo) all made it across.

Quintana attacked again and Girmay and Vendrame went with him but they were reeled in by Pinot and Zingle, but Girmay kept his cool and powered to the win.

A winner of stages in the Tour of Rwanda and Tropicale Amissa Bongo, the victory was Girmay’s first in Europe since he beat Remco Evenepoel to win the opening stage of the Aubel-Thimister-Stavelot junior stage race in 2018. 

“I think this is my best victory. It is important to win because the team that expects me to win, but also for me,” Girmay said according to DirectVelo.

“When I escaped with Quintana, Pinot and the others, I was a little bit afraid because Quintana was very strong and we still had one more climb to go. On that climb I felt better.

“I was looking forward to this race. I am in very good shape at the moment so there was fear at first and then motivation. “I was confident for the sprint. In the last kilometers I became more confident because I have a good sprint. I was not afraid at that moment. I like sprints in small groups, it’s my specialty.

” The win gives Girmay confidence for the weekend’s Tour du Doubs and the upcoming world championships. “This weekend is the most important for me. I love the Tour du Doubs. Last year I finished second so this year it is likely that we have our chances to win. We will go for it”.