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An African Tour
Last Post 04/24/2021 06:42 PM by Orange Crush. 7 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:2754

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04/23/2021 10:49 AM
The Tour of Lumbar, a 3 day non-UCI tour in northern Sierra Leone.  Cycling News has a gallery.  https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/the-magic-of-the-tour-de-lunsar-gallery/  Hard, spirited racing in dirt poor Africa. Small field.  Modern bikes and kits.  Everything else one or several steps less.  Road surfaces look good: level and smooth but I could not tell if they were asphalt or dirt.  Everything seemed to be the dusty tan of the local dirt.  Fans ranged from passionate to never having seen a bike race before.

I hope this and other African races thrive.  I'd love to see bike racing become as solid a way for young African men and women to succeed, join the European and American pelotons and return to develop more racers.  Lure teams into sending scouts to draft talent.  Create pelotons here and abroad that look like the world as a whole, not an almost entirely pure white enclave.
longslowdistance

Posts:2448

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04/23/2021 07:30 PM
The talent pool is unimaginable.
Orange Crush

Posts:3600

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04/24/2021 10:23 AM
It’s certainly interesting to see how the sport will grow there.

But to create a multicultural peleton shouldn’t even require participation from Africa. Look at your average European soccer team, massively diverse. There’s something else going on.
longslowdistance

Posts:2448

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04/24/2021 03:18 PM
Soccer requires only a ball and a bit of space.
Orange Crush

Posts:3600

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04/24/2021 05:05 PM
Cycling only requires an old bike as a start (eg Sagan) and used to be (and to a degree still is) and escape for poorer whites. The question is why is European multiracial population en masse drawn to soccer but why is it only whites that are drawn to cycling? I could see it being cycling being perceived as for whites only. There are quite a few sports that seem challenged in breaking ethnic barriers. I don’t think the answer to breaking those barriers lies in Africa.
Orange Crush

Posts:3600

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04/24/2021 05:49 PM
Maybe here’s a question. Do we think cycling has become more elitist in the modern era of expensive bikes? Has it indeed become the new golf.

I’d say at least though to the 80s it was a working class sport. Kids entering the sport were hard men before they became racers. A big part of hardcore fan base is still working class.
longslowdistance

Posts:2448

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04/24/2021 06:08 PM
I get where you are going with the role model and similar issues. Still, there aren't many bikes or good roads in Africa
Orange Crush

Posts:3600

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04/24/2021 06:42 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 04/24/2021 06:08 PM
I get where you are going with the role model and similar issues. Still, there aren't many bikes or good roads in Africa


That is not what I was getting at. My question is why not more of Europe’s multiethnic population is entering pro cycling similar to how that population is getting into soccer. This is not for the most part European soccer teams drawing talent from Africa although it is certainly part of the equation. To a large degree that multiethnic talent exists locally. Look for example at Dutch national team. It’s a rainbow of colours but all with Dutch names. Same with France etc. Now look at Dutch field hockey team. They’re all blondes (hottest most lethal team on globe) Dutch pro cyclists. All white except Ceylene Alvarado. I’d like to read her perspective. And no I don’t think we’ll see a revolution in African cycling anytime soon. Too many hurdles as you note.
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