Corks missing from Giro podium fizz the day after Girmay injury

The corks are gone.

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It was another fairly perfunctory day out at the Giro d’Italia. The threat of crosswinds spurred the Ineos Grenadiers into action, which briefly caused a split just after lunchtime, before Alpecin-Fenix’s Dries De Bondt took a late flyer to keep things interesting as the kilometres ticked down.

Alberto Dainese (DSM) then provided the surprise of the day by usurping the other more notable sprinters to cross the finish line first. Another stage ticked off and a step closer to home for the peloton.

It certainly didn’t compare to yesterday’s stage 10, when Biniam Girmay became the first black African to win a Grand Tour stage before also becoming the first rider to get injured during their victory podium and abandon the race after a cork flew out of his celebratory bottle of fizz and hit him in the eye. If the Eritrean has a predecessor in regard to that latter feat, please let us know.

So, a day without incident would have been music to the ears of the Giro d’Italia organisers, who did their best to ensure nothing out of the ordinary would happen on stage 11. How? By removing the corks from the podium bottles.

An unplugged cork covers the bottle as race organisers endeavour to keep the sparkling wine fizzy before the riders take to the stage

As Trek-Segafredo’s Juan Pedro López got up to celebrate another day in the pink jersey in Reggio Emilia following his safe passage through stage 11, the large bottles of Astoria sparkling wine were subtly different – they were missing their corks. Nevertheless, both Dainese and López managed to get the desired spray effect as befits any podium appearance.

Could yesterday’s stage 10 have been the final time we see corked bottles on a Giro podium? Race director Mauro Vegni did confirm to CyclingNews earlier in the day they will look into permanent changes to the podium presentations.

A nightmare for the cork industry, but probably a good Giro for Astoria, who are unlikely to have ever had this much attention directed their way. All press is good press, right? Even when you’re felling popular riders like Biniam Girmay.

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