History maker Biniam Girmay has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia after sustaining an injury while celebrating the greatest achievement of his career.
Girmay became the first Black African rider to win a stage of the famous Grand Tour event when he led home the field on Tuesday.
But after the highs came an unexpected low.
While he was opening the traditional large bottle of sparkling wine during he traditional post race celebrations, the cork flew out and struck his left eye. He was subsequently taken to hospital for additional medical checks.
His team, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, confirmed this morning that the Eritrean would not line up for 11th stage due to the severity of the injury.
"Today I didn't start the race because of my eye. I need some rest to give more power to the eye," Girmay said.
"Yesterday when I arrived after the hospital, at a bad moment, I enjoyed a bit with my teammates and staff and everyone. I'm also happy now. I was a bit sad about what happened with the champagne but when I came back in hotel they were super happy. They were a bit afraid, but when it looked ok, I really enjoyed it, I'm happy
"I say thanks to all my team, thanks to the staff, thanks to everyone at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. It was an unbelievable day. The team did almost 99% from the beginning to the finish. I’m really happy about what they did. Everyone was super motivated before the start, during the race, after the race. We really help each other, support each other. This is a really good atmosphere, and I'm really happy to work with the team and to stay as a teammate with all of the team staff members. I say congrats. This victory is not only for me but all the team. They support me and push me. That’s also part of our success at Intermarché. We are still in the beginning so for sure in the future we will continue with more victories.
"Thank you to everyone who supported me and pushed me. I'm OK now. See you soon."