Biniam Girmay lands Tour de France hat-trick by winning stage 12

The Eritrean green jersey wearer is proving hard to beat in the sprints

11/07/2024 - Tour de France 2024 - Étape 12 - Aurillac / Villeneuve-sur-Lot (203,6 km) - GIRMAY Biniam (INTERMARCHÉ - WANTY). Picture: A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
Biniam Girmay was victorious in stage 12 of the Tour de France (A.S.O./Billy Ceusters)

ERITREAN Biniam Girmay wins his third stage of this year’s Tour de France, while yellow jersey contender Primoz Roglic loses time in a crash.

Following the drama of stage 11, stage 12 of the Tour would see the peloton leave the mountainous Massif Central behind for flatter terrain.

With the race covering 203.6 kilometres, from Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot, a small breakaway of four successfully escaped the bunch after 20 kilometres of racing.

With the race arriving at the Pyrenees on Saturday, there were only two more chances for a bunch finish and the sprinters were clearly unwilling to let this opportunity escape them. Their teams would reel the breakaway back, catching the final riders with 40 kilometres to go.

While the stage finish looked simple on paper, a central road divider caused a crash in the bunch which involved yellow jersey hopeful Primoz Roglic (Red Bull - BORA - hansgrohe). Although Roglic quickly got back on his bike, he would not see the peloton again.

The stage finished on a perfectly straight road, meaning it was a sprint which rewarded patience. Expertly timing his launch in the final 100 metres, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) once again got hands in the air as he won his third stage of the race.

Wout Van Aert (Team Visma - Lease a Bike) finished in second, while Arnaud Demare (Arkéa - B&B Hotels) came home in third.

Following his crash, Roglic would cross the line over two minutes down. The Slovenian drops to sixth place on the general classification, 4:42 behind Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) who retains the yellow jersey.

Speaking after his victory, Girmay thanked his teammates for delivering him to the line:

“I want to say thank you to my teammates and my staff. Without them, I cannot prove I am the fastest.

“From the start of the Tour I felt, I knew, I could do a good result if I had the right time and the right wheel.

“I proved in the last three sprints if I am in good position, I am able to win

“I just believe I can prove I am the best

“I’m just super happy”