When the first Giro d’Italia was held in 1909, Eritrea was still a colony of the Kingdom of Italy – on May 17, 2022 a rider from the Eritrean capital Asmara crowned himself king of the tenth stage of the Tour.
Benjam Jermay’s victory wasn’t exciting given his successes over the past few months and his solid form from the start in Budapest, but it was certainly historic.
The appreciation of the other drivers on the field for his reversal was as great as the jubilant winner’s delight. Likes from Matteo van der Poel and warm congratulations from Juan Pedro Lopez’s pink jersey were the most visible indications of that.
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The Bora team also had reason to be happy: Wilko Kieldermann was back in fourth place after a low hit at Blockhaus and the lead in the team standings was extended.
Three things stand out in stage 10:
1.) Teamwork is the key to Germay’s victory
“I have no words for what my team did for me on the road today!” The proud winner knew that Jesse’s upheaval wasn’t just because of his toughness and speed. Thanking the team is a mandatory practice in winner interviews that has sometimes become a cliché, but Jermaye seemed deeply moved by his race team’s support in the preceding hours – and rightly so.
The drivers from Intermarché gave their all unconditionally all day long – first chasing fugitives, then preparing for the final. “Everyone has worked for me, including everyone who is fighting for a place in the general classification,” said Girmay enthusiastically. “Domenico Pozofevo was fantastic,” confirmed the 39-year-old, who was still at a fast pace for him with the last kilometer, “pushing me to victory when he shouted for me at 600m to go: Come on!”
For Girmay, perhaps success in the Giro is just a pause, just like a silver medal at the World Championships at U23 last fall or a win at Gent-Wevelgem in the spring. The 22-year-old is far from peaking, more wins and points in this Giro are just next on the list – if he can continue on Wednesday,
The long-term goal is the world championship in Rwanda in 2025. Until then, he should continue to shine in the classics as well as in the Grand Tours and aggressively expand his rest: his racing team deliberately extended his contract until 2026 in the spring.
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2.) Van der Poel gambling
However, the Dutchman did not do himself any favors with his racing tactics. The fact that he lost a minute and a lot of energy in the race to catch a wheel change 55km from the finish is still a possibility. But when he launched an attack in the last few kilometers, it turned out to be the fatal mistake. Eurosport expert Fabian Wegmann analyzed the situation at FC Velo: “Korner left and then he no longer had any more assistants on his side.”
Van der Poel publicly admitted after the race that he had chosen the wrong tactic. “We assumed the last touchdown was going to be quite technical, so I wanted to attack there and look for the resolution. It was frustrating and I tried to recover a bit, but this attack was really painful.”
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3.) Remember Scarponi makes sports a secondary matter
Michel Scarponi’s fatal accident occurred five years ago, but the 2011 Giro winner was not only forgotten in his hometown of Filotrano.
The passage of the Tour of Italy through the city decorated in his honor reminded of the speed with which nothing can be from moment to moment. Even if the field could not stop, as was usually the case at the Tour de France at the site of Fabio Casartelli’s death – the memory of such dramas should always be present.
In Scarponi’s case, memory is even more important because it was not a racing accident, but a fatal road accident – where, unfortunately, the most serious accidents for cyclists as victims occur every day.
That’s why the Michele Scarponi Foundation has been campaigning for more road safety for years with numerous campaigns and programs – always in line with a new banner message at the scene: “Respect the cyclist!”
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