Black Cyclists

Nov 19, 2010
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So, why are there no black professional cyclists? I hope we're all mature enough to leave racism or anything like that out of this. So, objectively... Africans excel at distance running and most other endurance sports. Why the sheer white dominance in the sport?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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probably comes down to how much money is pumped into cycling, I assume - 100% estimation - that little funding is available for cycling.

Also factors like the sport not being overly popular, and common in africa could be a reason.
 

Dettol

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Nov 10, 2010
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Are we taking about Africans or 'black' people all together? The answer would be mainly costs in the first case and social factors in the second.
 
Jun 15, 2010
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mombus said:
So, why are there no black professional cyclists? I hope we're all mature enough to leave racism or anything like that out of this. So, objectively... Africans excel at distance running and most other endurance sports. Why the sheer white dominance in the sport?
good question. There is Teklehemenot the promiseing Ethiopian.Interestingly in golf, even Tiger Woods has not produced an upsurge in Black Golfers at the highest level.Nor has lewis Hamilton in motor racing. Hopefully its not rascist although I noticed that Mario Ballotelli was booed every time he got the ball while playing for Italy.No wonder he moved to England.They don't do that s**t no more,
 

Dettol

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Nov 10, 2010
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simo1733 said:
good question. There is Teklehemenot the promiseing Ethiopian.Interestingly in golf, even Tiger Woods has not produced an upsurge in Black Golfers at the highest level.Nor has lewis Hamilton in motor racing. Hopefully its not rascist although I noticed that Mario Ballotelli was booed every time he got the ball while playing for Italy.No wonder he moved to England.They don't do that s**t no more,
I'd say that's because other sports such as basketball,football have greater appeal amongst black youth in fact all youth for a variety of reasons: 'everybody'is playing it, you can play it with your friends, isn't as costly, girls can watch you play and basketballers\footballers are generally seen as cooler than golfers until Tiger's infidelties were found out.
 
It's not about interest, it's about economics for both African and North American blacks.

1) The state of the roads would prevent a concerted effort to begin a grass-roots cycling program in most African countries.

2) The equipment is too expensive. Basketball sneakers that cost $100 or more are still attainable in the states for many impoverished black youths, but that's only because the apparel that goes along with it is relatively inexpensive.

You can buy high quality, name brand t-shirts, tank tops and shorts for not a lot of money.

Try that with cycling, where even a mid-level frame with components is going to run into the thousands. And the clothing? Forget it.

This is an untapped demographic that is quite frankly going to waste. There are many good black athletes that don't have the coordination/skill level for basketball or football, but they would find success as cyclists I'm sure.

What we need are sporting academies where kids with talent can be tested and developed, companies willing to donate equipment and clothing, and people willing to coach these kids for free.

If this happened, you'd see a black Tour champion within 10 years if not sooner.
 
Being great at track events, and other explosive sports like US football, doesn't necessarily translate into having the potential to be a world class cyclist at the Tour (or other major calendar events).

Why aren't there black swimmers?

Why aren't there white record breaking 100 meter sprinters?

This has got nothing to do with race, if we accept the premise that race doesn't exist, but it could have something to do with genetic factors. Where genetics are the key to why we find certain types of athletes in certian kinds of sports.

Otherwise it would be exclusively economic, and I think that's too "easy."
 

Dettol

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Nov 10, 2010
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I think the biggest factor is to get people into the actual sport. Then you can determine if their genetics are suited to it or not. To me the biggest factors are economic than social and cultural.
 
Dettol said:
I think the biggest factor is to get people into the actual sport. Then you can determine if their genetics are suited to it or not. To me the biggest factors are economic than social and cultural.
Ok, but you still haven't addressed the fundamental question I posed: namely would we get a black Contador? Or one could also ask a white Bolt?

Is this economic primarily or genetic?
 
Jun 15, 2010
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rhubroma said:
Being great at track events, and other explosive sports like US football, doesn't necessarily translate into having the potential to be a world class cyclist at the Tour (or other major calendar events).

Why aren't there black swimmers?

Why aren't there white record breaking 100 meter sprinters?

This has got nothing to do with race, if we accept the premise that race doesn't exist, but it could have something to do with genetic factors. Where genetics are the key to why we find certain types of athletes in certian kinds of sports.

Otherwise it would be exclusively economic, and I think that's too "easy."
I don't think its genetic.Distance running is dominated by black athletes almost as much sprinting.Mark McKay was the best road racer in Britain for a while back in the 80/90s equally there have been black champion swimmers. I seem to remember a guy from Surinam won an Olympic medal
 
simo1733 said:
I don't think its genetic.Distance running is dominated by black athletes almost as much sprinting.Mark McKay was the best road racer in Britain for a while back in the 80/90s equally there have been black champion swimmers. I seem to remember a guy from Surinam won an Olympic medal
Ok but these are the exceptions not the rule. Distance running is not cycling.

Again this has nothing to do with race, lets be clear on that. But the propensity to excell in certain athletic disciplines by certain genetic types.

I don't believe that if suddenly there was an upsurge in the participation of road racing by blacks, then that would necessarilly translate into having a significant number of top classics and grand tour riders coming from their community. Of course I may be wrong.
 
Oct 18, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Ok, but you still haven't addressed the fundamental question I posed: namely would we get a black Contador? Or one could also ask a white Bolt?

Is this economic primarily or genetic?
No its not genetic, but if you think pros come from mid-upper class families where they can keep their bikes in a heated garage and drive out to races in Daddys big RV or sit in front of they telly wind-training while Mamma whips up a big potato lasagne and compare it to trying to live in train in highly urbanised cities, which is where most Africans live ( in the US, UK and EU) where they are generally in a poorer class, theres a higher chance of having your bike stolen, your training interrupted, or just not being able to get out to the races, if your family can't afford a car or whatever.
So I think its stacked against alot of black riders. But i've seen Raslan Bahati and others come through and the great french trackies of recent years. Track cycling is probably a key for development opportunities for poorer people, but unfortunately Track died in cyclings shadow, even though it appeals more to noncycling fans.
 

Dettol

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Nov 10, 2010
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With things like track atheletics everybody partakes in it- white, black, asian, hispanic etc. Of which the fastest men on earth have been black. It's for the most part is an equal opportunity sport. Hence you will probably never get a white Usain Bolt simply because they are not good enough. The problem with cycling is that the best best black athletes (in a very general sense) at a young age are going to be funneled elsewhere. Would we get a black Contador? Probably if you did a Tiger Woods- natural ability + training from a young age + single minded determination + this is the most important bit an overbearing father.

The thing is there are middle class black families who could afford the costs of the sport but then I'm not sure I could see them support their child into going into cycling.
 
Dettol said:
With things like track atheletics everybody partakes in it- white, black, asian, hispanic etc. Of which the fastest men on earth have been black. It's for the most part is an equal opportunity sport. Hence you will probably never get a white Usain Bolt simply because they are not good enough. The problem with cycling is that the best best black athletes (in a very general sense) at a young age are going to be funneled elsewhere. Would we get a black Contador? Probably if you did a Tiger Woods- natural ability + training from a young age + single minded determination + this is the most important bit an overbearing father.

The thing is there are middle class black families who could afford the costs of the sport but then I'm not sure I could see them support their child into going into cycling.
That was my point. Thus not an economic issue.

The economic argument for me and all the urban history stuff only goes so far. Hinacapie, to cite another exception, came from the urban environment. So did Fignon. Not that I discount the economic-social factors completely, just that there would seem to also be genetics at work as well. And I frankly can't comprehend that others discount genetics entirely.
 
Tuarts said:
You don't want to be racist but you lable them as black?
Yeh and you are white. Get over it ok? The ideal situation was that we didn't look at people seeing a colour, but that's impossible.
It's a fact that Michael Jordan is black and Michael Schumacher is white. What's the problem? There is none.. It's just a fact.

simo1733 said:
There is Teklehemenot the promiseing Ethiopian.
He is Eritrean btw. Ethiopia and Eritrea are neighbours, but usually not very friendly neighbours so I don't think Teklehemenot would like to be called Ethiopian :)
 
Sep 12, 2010
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Come on guys, in Europe cycling has always been a sport accessible to all. Most of the greats came from working class backgrounds and most young aspiring pros today live on very meagre incomes. Go to Belgium and see the amount of kids that are squeezed into team houses just hoping to get a shot at the big time.

Today you can pick up new bikes good enough to begin racing on for under 1000 euros, a lot less if it's second hand - not a major obstacle for a working class family of any colour if that is the sport their son or daughter wishes to pursue.

The economic argument stands up for sure in large parts of Africa and Asia (where distance runing is clearly amongst the cheapest sports to participate in), but across Europe and the US where there are tens of millions of blacks it doesn't stand up.

The vast majority of white and black kids that are athletically gifted will opt for football, tennis, golf, rugby, American football, baseball and basketball because their friends play these sports, their dads and big brothers play these sports, their families go and watch these sports.

As the kids grow up other things become obvious. These sports all potentially pay a lot more for the average pro than cycling, they are perceived as more glamorous and less demanding of time. Compare the average salaries of pros in these sports to a cyclist and you will see the massive gulf that any parent can see to.

Maybe the society and community that we grow up in has the biggest influence over what sport we choose. We play what those around us play at.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Most black athletes are runners. You don't really need any equipment and generally if you look at african people and african americans, a lot are poor. Bikes are not cheap and Running is more easy for them and it it is cheap.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Tuarts said:
You don't want to be racist but you lable them as black?
Your being ridiculous. Don't get me started on political correctness rubbish like having to call a blackboard, a chalkboard.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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Genetics. First we have to distinguish between east and west africans.
There are no great east african 100m sprinters and there are no great west african marathoners. The east african dominance in long distance running is a result of superior running economy, vo2max and lt values are as low/high as among people of european heritage according to scientists who have done studies on that. Zersenay Tadesse, one of the best 10k-half marathon runners, was a mediocre amateur cyclist before an injury made him switch to running where he became world class within 2 years after starting specific training. So a kenyan guy has at best as much talent for cycling as someone from Belgium but he doesnt have the same access to equipment, good roads, nutrition etc. It's also questionable if east-africans have the biomechanical talent for cycling. You'll find more caucasians(Wariner, Lemaitre, Borlee,..) suceeding over 100-200-400m than east-africans, which makes it questionable if they have same kind of muscle strength as caucasians, what would be a huge disadvantage in cycling.
I think the best shot at pro-cycling have people of west-african descent as sprinters.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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mombus said:
So, why are there no black professional cyclists? I hope we're all mature enough to leave racism or anything like that out of this. So, objectively... Africans excel at distance running and most other endurance sports. Why the sheer white dominance in the sport?
I get so sick of these bull**** questions

there are tons of them. look at gil cordoves recordholder stage wins in vuelta venezuela and millionaire because of it.



also you have yohan gene with bbox and rony martias with saur. but there are many blakc professional cyclists, just not in europe which isn't too strange since most people in europe are white also.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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rhubroma said:
Being great at track events, and other explosive sports like US football, doesn't necessarily translate into having the potential to be a world class cyclist at the Tour (or other major calendar events).

Why aren't there black swimmers?

Why aren't there white record breaking 100 meter sprinters?

This has got nothing to do with race, if we accept the premise that race doesn't exist, but it could have something to do with genetic factors. Where genetics are the key to why we find certain types of athletes in certian kinds of sports.

Otherwise it would be exclusively economic, and I think that's too "easy."
exatcly. they aren't usuallyt made for endurance. look at the french track team. they have a few black guys there in the sprint team and one is (vice) world champion I think

also most black guys cycling in sotuh america are sprinters too. they are usually mixed west african. while east africans are for endurance like ethiopia or eritrea, just look at teklehaimanot now
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Ryo Hazuki said:
I get so sick of these bull**** questions

there are tons of them. look at gil cordoves recordholder stage wins in vuelta venezuela and millionaire because of it.

also you have yohan gene with bbox and rony martias with saur. but there are many blakc professional cyclists, just not in europe which isn't too strange since most people in europe are white also.
That's too easy. The number of black cyclists in the European peloton isn't exactly representative of their share in the European population. I'd say it has more to with tradition. Take the Netherlands, for example. Generally the "black" population in the cities is larger than in rural Holland. And rural Holland is where most cyclists come from. Your average Surinam or Antillean kid from Amsterdam won't be very interested in cycling.
 

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