Why no Ethnic Riders in Tour de France?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by vernon levy, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. vernon levy

    vernon levy Guest

    > I think it stems from the fact that few young people with Asian or
    > Afro-Caribean background ride bikes as a serious pass-time. Here in West
    > Yorkshire there is a large Asian population yet I can't recall seeing any
    > Asians riding bikes (apart from bombing around cities on BMXs and MTBs). I
    > think its because ethnic groups don't ride bikes for sport as much as
    > whites - therefore since the chance for any cyclist actually being good
    > enough to get a ride in the TdF is small, for a minority group it is very,
    > very small indeed.


    As a school teacher in a Bradford school, of 1800 predominantly white
    pupils, I am aware of only one competitive cyclist - he does not know of any
    others in the school. her's a white kid of Hungarian descent. Some of the
    reasons are almost certainly cultural - amongst the asian lads, if they want
    to participate in sport they go for cricket but from their late teens they
    have a fixation on fast cars and Max Power magazine. The Afro-Caribbean
    contingent are keen on footie, cricket and body building to accommodate the
    bling bling they hope to wear. A simplistic view I know but there is really
    little or no interest in cycling amongst the majority of kids irrespective
    of racial heritage.

    As a darkie, I can not give an insight as to why my interest and involvement
    with cycling has such a strong grip on me. I never competed as a youth
    despite the entreaties of a chap from Spartan Wheelers cycling club from
    Darlington trying to recruit me as a member. I was not a team player and
    prefered one on one competion and enjoyed destroying one or two junior
    members of the club on long rides. I am used to being the sole non-white in
    many of the hobbies that I participate in - skin colour hase never been an
    issue with club/society members. My latest potential interest will challenge
    many pre-conceptions - bag pipe playing :)

    One also needs to remember that the recruitment pool for ethnic minority
    sportsmen is a small percentage of the UK and probably European population.
    If once scales from how many successful white cycling youths are migrating
    to teams from the white populations and then apply that to the ethnic
    minority population you may well end up with a fraction of a single rider
    :)
     
    Tags:


  2. dannyfrankszzz

    dannyfrankszzz New Member

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    I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?

    I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders who could make the cut.

    Just wondering......
     
  3. A.Lee

    A.Lee Guest

    On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:07:49 +1000, dannyfrankszzz wrote:

    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?


    Because there are none who are either good enough, or want to live in
    Europe to get a contract.Cycle racing is only big in Europe,a little bit
    in Aus., and a little in the US, everywhere else it is a very minor
    sport.
    More to the point, why are there no British riders in it? (I know, because
    there are none good enough, and it is a small minority sport here!)

    Alan.

    --
    To reply by e-mail, change the ' + ' to 'plus'.
    http://www.dvatc.co.uk - Off-road cycling in the North Midlands.
     
  4. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "dannyfrankszzz" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >
    > I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders
    > who could make the cut.
    >


    This was posed in the T de F commentary and apart from our ex colonies (SA,
    NZ, OZ, USA etc), there seem to be only Columbians and Venezuelans (with
    Spanish names) and an Asian Kazakh (with a Russian name). Probably the same
    reason why there is a lack of white heavyweight boxers.

    --
    Simon M.
     
  5. dannyfrankszzz wrote:
    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >
    > I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders
    > who could make the cut.
    >
    > Just wondering......


    I think it stems from the fact that few young people with Asian or
    Afro-Caribean background ride bikes as a serious pass-time. Here in West
    Yorkshire there is a large Asian population yet I can't recall seeing any
    Asians riding bikes (apart from bombing around cities on BMXs and MTBs). I
    think its because ethnic groups don't ride bikes for sport as much as
    whites - therefore since the chance for any cyclist actually being good
    enough to get a ride in the TdF is small, for a minority group it is very,
    very small indeed.
     
  6. dannyfrankszzz wrote:

    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >
    > I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders
    > who could make the cut.
    >
    > Just wondering......
    >
    >

    Why no black swimmers etc.

    Anyway, the Japanese riders will be doing keirin if they want to make
    serious money.
     
  7. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>,
    dannyfrankszzz ('[email protected]')
    wrote:

    >
    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?


    There is one who is clearly of north African extraction. I noticed him
    particularly because, as you say, he's such an oddity. Sorry, can't
    remember his name.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
    ;; Sending your money to someone just because they've erected
    ;; a barrier of obscurity and secrets around the tools you
    ;; need to use your data does not help the economy or spur
    ;; innovation. - Waffle Iron Slashdot, June 16th, 2002
     
  8. On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:07:49 +1000, dannyfrankszzz wrote:

    >
    > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >
    > I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders
    > who could make the cut.
    >
    > Just wondering......


    Wasn't there a Kenyan cycling team that got pulled over on the motorway
    here a while ago - they were only doing 45mph which was considered
    dangerously slow.

    C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were many
    Asian riders there.

    AC
     
  9. Jan

    Jan Guest

    anonymous coward wrote:
    > On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:07:49 +1000, dannyfrankszzz wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    >> Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >>
    >> I thought that there were Japanese riders and some other Asian riders
    >> who could make the cut.
    >>
    >> Just wondering......

    >
    > Wasn't there a Kenyan cycling team that got pulled over on the
    > motorway here a while ago - they were only doing 45mph which was
    > considered dangerously slow.
    >
    > C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were
    > many Asian riders there.
    >
    > AC


    Probably the best known Asian rider is Wong Kam PO (Hong Kong ) who has
    been quite successful on the track as well as on the road in such races as
    the Tour De Langkawi.
    There was a plan this year to send young Malaysian riders to Europe to gain
    experience.

    Jan
     
  10. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:58:37 +0100, anonymous coward
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were many
    >Asian riders there.


    And those who were paying attention would have seen the brief article
    on the Tour de Burkina Fasso during the TdF coverage.
    --

    Cheers,

    Al
     
  11. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "vernon levy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    Some of the
    > reasons are almost certainly cultural - amongst the asian lads, if they

    want
    > to participate in sport they go for cricket but from their late teens they
    > have a fixation on fast cars and Max Power magazine.


    This is common amongst most young lads. As soon as they reach 16, the bike
    is thrown away and they get a moped, a car at 17 and so it goes on from
    there. Anyone who doesn't follow this path is a dork amongst their peers.

    Amongst my work mates I am considered a kind of nutcase since I cycle in
    all year round, but just lately our "Green Office" team has been coming out
    with lots of "new ideas" such as why not cycle to work and keep fit and
    don't damage the environment etc and yet I'd *love* to be able to tell you
    the lengths I have had to go to to try and get my leds lamps allowed on
    site, it's been dragging on for 3 years, but I'm afraid I can't, not on a
    public forum that is.

    --
    ?
     
  12. Jan

    Jan Guest

    Al C-F wrote:
    > On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:58:37 +0100, anonymous coward
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were
    >> many Asian riders there.

    >
    > And those who were paying attention would have seen the brief article
    > on the Tour de Burkina Fasso during the TdF coverage.



    ....and talking of the Burkina Fasso tour.... The motorcycle "time man" ( the
    one with the blackboard) comes from BF. He was invited by "le tour" to do
    the job after asking a few years ago.

    Jan
     
  13. LaoFuZhi

    LaoFuZhi Guest


    > Wasn't there a Kenyan cycling team that got pulled over on the motorway
    > here a while ago - they were only doing 45mph which was considered
    > dangerously slow.


    Quite apart from the fact that pedal-cycles are not allowed on Motorways???
     
  14. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    A.Lee <[email protected]+.com> wrote:

    : More to the point, why are there no British riders in it? (I know, because
    : there are none good enough, and it is a small minority sport here!)

    I think there's quite a few brits who would be pros if they were from Belguim.

    The problem is that too much cycling in the UK consists of the total waste of
    time activity of plouging up and down dual carriages at 3am....

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org
    "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  15. AndyMorris

    AndyMorris Guest

    Martin 'MSeries' Newstead wrote:
    > dannyfrankszzz wrote:
    >> I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    >> Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?
    >>

    >
    > I think it stems from the fact that few young people with Asian or
    > Afro-Caribean background ride bikes as a serious pass-time.


    The New York Fixie scene is at least partly influenced by the Carribean
    track racing scene.

    From http://oldskooltrack.com/files/home.frame.html

    "And then, at least on the East Coast, you've got the Caribbean influence.
    For over half a century, the everyday ride for kids in the Caribbean would
    be a "fix" or a "track." Maybe they raced nationally or internationally. And
    then they brought it to the U.S. The owner of New York City's "Second Avenue
    Bicycles Plus" tells me that he remembers riding a fix back in Jamaica - in
    the 1940's"


    Wonder why it never happened over here ?

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK


    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  16. MSeries

    MSeries New Member

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    There are cyclists from many, many non-European countries, just few, if any that are in pro-teams that are good enough for the Tour de France. Remember the Tour is the biggest pro-race, simply participating is a goal for many young riders throughout the World and not every team is invited to ride. Its hard to become a member of a top pro-team, you need talent, determination, luck and a path to follow. The path exists on the Continent which is why we see plenty of Belgian, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish riders. Now some of these countries have large ethnic populations but as we have seen young people from these backgrounds tend to be interested in cycling even less than non-ethnic people. I recall reading last year, maybe in the Tour Centenary book about a good black rider in the eary 20th Century. The name Major Taylor rings a bell.

    The Kenyan riders were here for the Commonwealth Games, this event, the Olympics and the World Championships all usually have black and Asian riders, these guys are the best their countries can send, unfortunately they are usually not good enough for a pro team that is invited to take part in the Tour de France. Think of Eddy the Eagle, good in British terms but actually not that good. [In the 1999 Worlds, the only Egyptian rider finished last, many minutes down. We were staying in the same hotel and so kept a special eye out for him on the race. At least he bothered to finish unlike some European pros.]
     
  17. james

    james Guest

    anonymous coward <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:07:49 +1000, dannyfrankszzz wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?

    >
    > Wasn't there a Kenyan cycling team that got pulled over on the motorway
    > here a while ago - they were only doing 45mph which was considered
    > dangerously slow.
    >
    > C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were many
    > Asian riders there.


    itv2 did a spot on one of the motorcycle marshalls (the guys with the
    blackboards) who was on a reciprocal swap with the national tour of
    one of the former french colonies in Africa (I forget the country). I
    *think* he was a former rider.

    I don't think it as simple as saying black kids don't ride or there
    aren't enough good riders. This was pretty much what was said about
    afro-caribean footballers in Britain until, *whoops*, it turned out to
    be good old-fashioned predjudice after all.

    I would guess that it is institutional as much as, or more than,
    personal

    best wishes
    james
     
  18. MSeries wrote:

    > I recall reading last year, maybe in the Tour
    > Centenary book about a good black rider in the
    > eary 20th Century. The name Major Taylor rings
    > a bell.


    Is correct. He was a World Champion on the track and has a velodrome named
    after him in Indianapolis. I have a vague recollection of an
    African-American trackie turning pro in the 80's after doing well in the
    Olympics. (Googles) Nelson Vails.
    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  19. Wild Wind

    Wild Wind Guest

    "james" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > anonymous coward <[email protected]> wrote in message

    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 03:07:49 +1000, dannyfrankszzz wrote:
    > >
    > > >
    > > > I was just wondering about this. How come there are no riders in the
    > > > Tour de France who are from a non-European ethnic background?

    > >
    > > Wasn't there a Kenyan cycling team that got pulled over on the motorway
    > > here a while ago - they were only doing 45mph which was considered
    > > dangerously slow.
    > >
    > > C4 was showing the Tour of Lang(a?)kawi a while ago, and there were many
    > > Asian riders there.

    >
    > itv2 did a spot on one of the motorcycle marshalls (the guys with the
    > blackboards) who was on a reciprocal swap with the national tour of
    > one of the former french colonies in Africa (I forget the country). I
    > *think* he was a former rider.


    I think someone else has ID'd the country as Burkina.

    > I don't think it as simple as saying black kids don't ride or there
    > aren't enough good riders. This was pretty much what was said about
    > afro-caribean footballers in Britain until, *whoops*, it turned out to
    > be good old-fashioned predjudice after all.
    >
    > I would guess that it is institutional as much as, or more than,
    > personal


    I don't agree. To simply say that there aren't enough of
    a particular group taking part in an activity doesn't
    necessarily point to prejudice. How many 60 year olds take
    part in dance raves? Is this prejudice on the part of
    rave organisers?

    I'd be concerned if people of a particular group were being
    *prevented* from paticipating in an activity to the point
    where there was *no way* they could take part (e.g. by
    setting up an organisation under whose auspices they could
    participate in that activity). However, if a person from a
    particular group is aware of the opportunity to participate
    in an activity but doesn't want to do so because he doesn't
    like it, I'm not sure much else can be done.

    --
    Akin

    aknak at aksoto dot idps dot co dot uk
     
  20. anderson

    anderson New Member

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    I've done the etape du tour 3 times and can remember a couple of occassions in particular 1999 at St Fleur at the finish when a guy
    from TOP VELO cycling magazine approached me with a microphone
    and asked me a few questions like, how did you find the ride, were
    you 'en forme', what country do you come from etc. One off tape
    question was: why so few black faces in any in L'etape. I couldn't
    answer for anyone else but said I enjoyed cycling and had wanted
    to ride L'etape for a couple of years before trying.

    I asked him why he picked on me to interview from amongs all of
    the cyclists mingling around. He said I was the first black person
    he'd seen riding all day.

    Michael Anderson
     
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