Cyclist's Podium Celebration Ends in Freak Prosecco Mishap

Biniam Girmay was forced to pull out of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday as a result
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2022 12:20 PM CDT
Freak Prosecco-Cork Injury Forces Cyclist Out of Race
Eritrea's Biniam Girmay touches his eye after spraying sparkling wine on the podium to celebrate winning the 10th stage of the Giro D'Italia cycling race from Pescara to Jesi, Italy, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.   (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

An accident with a prosecco cork while celebrating his historic stage victory at the Giro d’Italia forced Biniam Girmay to pull out of the race on Wednesday. The Eritrean rider became the first Black African to win a stage at a grand tour when he beat Mathieu van der Poel in the sprint to the line in Jesi in the 10th stage on Tuesday. But he had to be taken to a local hospital after getting injured when he popped a prosecco cork into his left eye during the podium celebration. Medical tests revealed a hemorrhage in his eye and the team doctor said it was “strongly recommended" he avoid physical activity, reports the AP.

"The news about the incident felt like a cold shower," said Girmay's team director, Valerio Piva. "It is of course a pity to lose an element like Biniam, but the advice of the medical team is clear and the health of Biniam is our priority." The 22-year-old Girmay still celebrated with his Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux teammates when he returned from the hospital. CNN notes that, bizarrely, van der Poel was also hit in the face by an exploding cork following the first stage of this year's Giro, but he suffered no injury. The Giro, which started on May 6, goes through May 29.

(More strange stuff stories.)

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