Africans in pro cycling

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by Ludwig, 13 Jan 2008.

  1. Ludwig

    Ludwig Hopeless romantic

    Why has their never been any African professional cycists of any note. Surely if you took the middle and long distance runner types from Morocco, Algeria, Ethiopia and Kenya and gave them specialist coaching they would dominate pro cycling as they have done in middle and long distance running for the past 20 years. The fact is that only a tiny number of rich nations compete in pro cycling, technology and money has taken over to a large extent and it's not about the rider anymore. If we look at track cycling the machines and equipment is so costly that it is now an extremely exclusive and elitist sport far detached from the average person in the street. The cycling world needs to be affordable, accessible and inclusive to the whole world rather than the rich elite.
  2. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    Robbie Hunter?

    There's a very nice velodrome in Nigeria. Only they don't have any bikes.

    Perhaps the UCI could ban any new technology. Again. :wacko:
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    No it doesn't.

    There are plenty of Africans living in wealthy societies and they don't give a fig about cycling. If by affordable you mean we should be compelled to eschew technological progress and all ride round on bikes from mail order catalogues, stuff that.
  4. andygates

    andygates New Member

    The cycling world is affordable to everyone. Just look at the use of bikes... by the poor. Ludwig, you're conflating elite bike sport with bike culture and with utilitarian bike use, and that doesn't fit.
  5. col

    col Veteran

    I see his point,i read about this cycle track in africa,and the thing stopping them was finance for bikes,spares repair,medical,travelling and all the things that go with competition,they just didnt have the cash.Its not the same as just going to buy a bike is it?
  6. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I think the Africans have more to worry about than buying racing bikes. Like buying food, for example.

    Perhaps one day they will not be kept in poverty by corrupt governments and will start to thrive, but until then I doubt that the Malliot Jeune will be uppermost as a priority for most of them.
  7. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    Just because the majority of bike riders come from wealthy countries it doesn't mean the riders are wealthybefore they start the sport. Football has always been the traditional sport of the urban working class, in Europe (especially France, Spain and Italy) cycling has been the only mode of transport available to the peasant classes. Miguel Indurain took up cycling only to get to teh fields he had to farm as a boy. Oscar Perreiro comes from Galicia, one of the poorest parts of Europe and so the list goes on. The fact that there is organised bike racing gives the boys a chance to race and 'be boys' and then the money rolls in. Incidentally, I think thisis a bigfactor in why so many riders are prepared to dope - if you come from a rural Spanish village where life is super hard and all the men of the town die in poverty by the time they are 65 and then someone says 'take this, you'll win races and lots of money' you probably would. And if you were prescient enough to ask about teh dangers the option of a lifetime of serious graft in the fields compared to riding a bike for loads of cash and lifting your family out of poverty makes doping seem not too bad a choice. Although that's all a bit OT

    I think SmokingJoe is right when he says Africans probably have more to worry about than the maillot jaune. That said, with the launch of this ultra cheap car in India, there was a lot of footage of indians on bikes, which got me thinking why there aren't more Indian pro's.
  8. col

    col Veteran

    I dont think the indians bikes would be very competetive;)
  9. papercorn2000

    papercorn2000 Senior Member

    Google for the Tour of Eritrea!
  10. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    There are now races and stage races in some African countries and in time one or more of the riders may make it into the the professional ranks. However even in Europe the riders don't just turn up and be immediate stars, they join clubs and then work up from that. Money is needed for gear etc. but by the time you get to the Pro level that is taken care of by the teams and the sponsors.
  11. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    As someone once said: it's not about the bike.

    This balance between athleticism and technology was at it's most interesting in the Boardman/Obree era. Of course it was all about the bike for their respective hour records, but that wasn't necessarily about chucking money at things - Boardman did, Obree didn't. Then Boardman did it anyway on a traditional bike.

    I think the reasons are cultural. In Britain Cycling is a minority sport: in Belgium it is huge. Not becasue the Flemish are richer, just that they have a long history of it as a popular sport.
  12. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    The veledrome in Nigeria has been there something like 5 years and its not been used once.

    Africa does have a huge amount of bikes, but none of them are used competitivly on a wide scale. Its much like asia, places like china etc, that have so many bikes but no or next to no pro riders. I know there are about three that ride for Shimano and thats all I know.
    Don't forget that there are black riders, but none of them are based in Africa or the Windies, Dave Clarke springs to mind for one.
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