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Di Data/African cyclng - good article
Last Post 08/02/2018 03:00 PM by Orange Crush. 1 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1972

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07/31/2018 04:52 PM
In today's Velonews site: "Q & A: Doug Ryder on his dream to bring Africa to the Tour"

https://www.velonews.com/2018/07/from-the-mag/qa-doug-ryder-on-his-dream-to-bring-africa-to-the-tour_473603

Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.  Dimension Data is a team that is failing,  It is barely hanging on with the worst World Tour rankings year after year.  The dream was to be a team for Africans.  Less than half their riders are.  But at the same time, the charity it is the showcase for has distributed 75,000 bikes.  Road racing in Africa now happens with some largish regular events.  Rwanda and Eritrea. two countries ravaged by war and famine are turning out riders.  Some good riders have now come out of Africa.  But the jump to the top pro peleton is huge.  Some riders have gotten there, but none have embraced it, the life and the love of winning.  As Doug Ryder, founder and owner of Di Data, says, he hasn't found the Michael Jordan yet.

The article spells out rather well the huge challenges, both physically and re: mindset for African riders.  (Africa basically doesn't have mountain roads.  The riders have never ridden a fast, windy descent.  They show up in Europe and spend 2-3 more minutes getting down descents than the peloton.)  The same with narrow, winding streets with road furniture.)  The big challenge is motivation.  Just getting paid and riding in a peloton is so huge that looking beyond that to being driven to win is unimaginably.  Then there are challenges like visas.  (One of Di Data's riders missed the Tour of California because he was denied.)  There is also the fundamental distrust of outsiders earned from the many centuries of people from other continents extracting everything seen as valuable.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2263

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08/02/2018 03:00 PM
Here's another one from the mag with similar messages:

https://www.velonews.com/2018/08/from-the-mag/team-rwanda-matures-in-central-africas-top-cycling-team_473885

Yes, if World Tour participation is the metric then there are huge challenges. Cycling is and remains largely a Euro sport, with some input from north and south America and much less so from elsewhere.

Heck, look at the UCI nation rankings, where is the United States even? A lowly 21st rank, wedged between Luxembourg (!) and Portugal (!) and only 3 spots above Canada (haha).

On that note, cycling in the Netherlands is finally back after tumbling into the abyss in the 1990. 3rd spot at moment, right behind Italy and Belgium. Whoohoo.

Oh and where is Spain after dominating rankings for so long? 6th. The residual effects from the Barcelona Ole games are wearing off.
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