Biniam Girmay: "From start to finish, we drove at full throttle all day"
Biniam Girmay was one of the big favourites for today's stage at the Giro d'Italia, however surely he hadn't planned on getting himself in the day's breakaway. The Eritrean found himself there after following Mathieu van der Poel's move early in the day, and ended up finishing fifth after a hard day in the saddle.
"It was unbelievable. From start to finish, we drove at full throttle all day. A big round like this is crazy. Yesterday it was tough, but today it was even tougher. However, I am happy with how I did it," Girmay said in a post-race interview. The Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux rider attacked in search of a stage win and points for the maglia ciclamino, and proved relatively successful despite not having been in the decisive move early on.
Preview - Giro d'Italia 2022 stage 9
After Thomas de Gendt and a group of several riders attacked with 43 kilometers to go, no-one had the legs to bring it back. Girmay, alongside Mathieu van der Poel and Mauro Schmid, were the most active riders behind who fought to bridge across - but proved unsuccessful. Girmay ended up best of the rest, finishing fifth. “Everyone looked at Mathieu and me. It was impossible to chart a course on your own. It was tough, but I'm happy with my performance today," he added.
It was a complicated situation for both riders in such a rolling day, however it didn't come without reward. Arnaud Démare didn't have the opportunity to score points today, and the 22-year old managed to shorten the gap in the points classification from from 52 to 27 points before the real mountains are tackled. "Today I picked up some points, which is a good starting point for the coming days. There are many more opportunities to come, so we will see," he concluded.