A cyclist has been forced to retire from the Giro d’Italia after injuring himself while celebrating a historic stage victory.
Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay became the first Black African to win a stage at a grand tour on Tuesday. The 22-year-old beat Mathieu van der Poel in a thrilling sprint to the line in Jesi in the 10th stage.
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.
Team doctor Piet Daneels said medical examinations had revealed a haemorrhage in the eye and that the cyclist had withdrawn to “minimise” any further risk.
Girmay later celebrated with his teammates when he returned from hospital, but has now pulled out of the competition.
“I was a bit sad about what happened with the champagne but when I come back to the hotel they were super happy also,” he said in a video on his team’s Facebook page.
“I want to thank everyone for the message and support,” Girmay added on Twitter.
“I’m fine … It makes me sad because I miss the rest of the Giro, but I have to stop and recover and rest for a few days.”