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  1. #1
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    Can an African Win the Tour de France?

    An interesting feature on the prospects for African cycling from the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20842499
    When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EntenteCordiale View Post
    An interesting feature on the prospects for African cycling from the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20842499
    I'm sure it's more a question of when instead of if.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

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    The key is that substantial numbers of local kids must have the conditions to train and to compete while still in school. Centers as described in the article are good for the next step, but first you need to be good at identifying talented individuals.

    The problem with Africa is not only that most Africans simply can't afford decent bikes, but it is said that the median African lives about 7 miles from the nearest paved road. That's why there are lots of renowned African runners but almost no cyclists.

    We should sooner see a winner from South America, at least they already have the infrastructure. There have already been a few strong showings by Colombians in recent history.

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    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Pretty good chance this year, with Froome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    Pretty good chance this year, with Froome.
    Froome should have won last year. Born and raised in Africa.

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    Froome is as "African" as Obama is "Black". Yes. technically both of them are, but that's not what we normally mean by those words: Froome is not ethnic African (he's almost pure British, not a drop of African blood there) and Obama is not a descendant of African-American slaves.

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    This year's Haute Route featured a team of Kenyans with an interesting story and an unorthodox entry into the world of cycling:

    We have a multi-tribal team. Most come from rural areas and none of them completed secondary school. These are hard men... they have dug 10 meter boreholes with their hands and simple tools, hauled 90kg sacks of corn up hills, endured abandonment and deaths in their families, and generally experienced deprivation throughout their lives.” Almost all of them use a bicycle, the basic 1-geared Black Mamba, in some capacity in their daily lives.

    More about the Kenyan Riders here.

    Cycling is an incredibly popular mode of transportation in East Africa particularly, and as their infrastructure develops it's only a matter of time before their teams become competitive. The recent Tour of Rwanda showed off a lot of pristine road surfaces and Team Rwanda have to turn away countless numbers of ambitious bicycle taxi drivers who ride out to their base in the mountains at Musanze in the hope of getting noticed by the team. the sport seems to be really big in Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea (the Italian influence?) too.

    The South Africans are the continental leaders in terms of professionalism though (unsurprising given the relative wealth of the country). Their MTN Qhubeka team has a 70% African roster (mostly South Africans but also Eritreans, Ethiopians, Rwandans and Algerians) and is targeting participation in a Grand Tour by 2014.
    When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Froome is as "African" as Obama is "Black". Yes. technically both of them are, but that's not what we normally mean by those words: Froome is not ethnic African (he's almost pure British, not a drop of African blood there) and Obama is not a descendant of African-American slaves.
    Perhaps it's fair to say that Kenya can claim Chris Froome as one of their own (he did feel Kenyan enough to represent them at the UCI World Road Championships), but Kenyan cycling cannot do the same. After all, he was trained as a road cyclist primarily in South Africa and the UK, and had this to say about the time he spent representing Kenya:

    "Although I was riding under the Kenyan flag I made it clear that I had always carried a British passport and felt British."
    When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  9. #9
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    African blood?
    Why don't people say what they mean?
    If one means to ask: will a black ever win the TDF, then ask: will a black ever win the TDF. lol

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    But if a black European (of which there are a great many) won a Grand Tour, I wouldn't consider that a victory for Africa. It's more a question of someone who is culturally African and is a product of African cycling.
    When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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    Well if i had the chance of a rhino or a cheetah after my butt in the middle of road i would get fast and strong quite fast!!

    As for winning? well... there was a thread about colors, races and cycling performance moving around, the guys in the picture look pretty european mixed to me, no matter where they are from tho. Would be cool to see them in the TdF.

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    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EntenteCordiale View Post
    But if a black European (of which there are a great many) won a Grand Tour, I wouldn't consider that a victory for Africa. It's more a question of someone who is culturally African and is a product of African cycling.
    So you see a Black African GT victory as a "victory" for Africa.
    Well, if you mean Black Africans from West Sub-Saharan Africa -- if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Now, a Black from Kenya, maybe one day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    So you see a Black African GT victory as a "victory" for Africa.
    Well, if you mean Black Africans from West Sub-Saharan Africa -- if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Now, a Black from Kenya, maybe one day.
    That's not what I meant. I was replying to your comment:

    African blood?
    Why don't people say what they mean?
    If one means to ask: will a black ever win the TDF, then ask: will a black ever win the TDF. lol

    The point I was trying to make is that colour is irrelevant. I don't consider Froome to be an African cyclist, not because he is white, but because he is culturally British. A champion from North Africa or a white South African would have complete legitimacy as an African champion.
    When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
    Well if i had the chance of a rhino or a cheetah after my butt in the middle of road i would get fast and strong quite fast!!

    .
    It's the antelope you have to watch for.

    Last edited by merlinextraligh; 01-14-13 at 08:29 AM.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  15. #15
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EntenteCordiale View Post

    The point I was trying to make is that colour is irrelevant. I don't consider Froome to be an African cyclist, not because he is white, but because he is culturally British.
    I'd imagine someone from Kenya is as culturally different from someone from Morocco as someone
    from the United States. Seems more than a bit silly to speak of or intimate there is such a thing as
    "African culture," when the cultures among the peoples of Africa are so different.

  16. #16
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Yes
    Fellow members. I am riding in The 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer
    I am starting to raise $2500 to support the wonderful work done at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Please support this great organization.

    Please help me by donating so that I can ride. Please go to my link at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/Brian_Johnson . I would greatly appreciate it.

    Bless You All.

    Brian J.

  17. #17
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    Seems more than a bit silly to speak of or intimate there is such a thing as
    "African culture," when the cultures among the peoples of Africa are so different.
    But they all look alike*.

    You know, it'll be nice when we stop making any kind of a "deal" about when/if can/can't some one do something based on whatever stupid criteria we use to break people up into little granfalloons

    Hell of a lot more difference between a Great Dane and a chihuahua then there are among people. Still dogs. Still people.

    * This is sarcasm.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    I'd imagine someone from Kenya is as culturally different from someone from Morocco as someone
    from the United States. Seems more than a bit silly to speak of or intimate there is such a thing as
    "African culture," when the cultures among the peoples of Africa are so different.
    anyone from a poor background will have the "hunger" to achieve, to survive, to excel or to be dragged down by the plight of poverty and ignorance. "the World is a Ghetto".

  19. #19
    Senior Member john gault's Avatar
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    Kind of a moot point, we're all Africans. My great, great, great...grand daddy was a Black African and so was yours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4AwIkzut48

    The genetic difference that changes our skin color is so insignificant that, genetically speaking, there is no such thing as race.
    Last edited by john gault; 01-19-13 at 08:11 AM.
    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Kind of a moot point, we're all Africans. My great, great, great...grand daddy was a Black African and so was yours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4AwIkzut48

    The genetic difference that changes our skin color is so insignificant that, genetically speaking, there is no such thing as race.
    Maybe more accurate to say that we are all **** Sapiens. The "All African" thing is the new card that is getting a lot of play these days.

  21. #21
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    The genetic difference that changes our skin color is so insignificant that, genetically speaking, there is no such thing as race.
    except that there are genetic differences among "human populations" or "human races."

  22. #22
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    Pretty good chance this year, with Froome.
    Yep.
    My current stable:

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  23. #23
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I'm sure it's more a question of when instead of if.
    The February issue of Cycle Sport has been covering the Tour of Rwanda for two seasons now. After several months of mire in the Armstrong doping scandal, it was truly heartwarming to learn how the sport is growing from the grassroots in new parts of the world.

    Any part of the world that has good racing will eventually produce champions of international caliber.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat4Lifer View Post
    Pretty good chance this year, with Froome.
    i took this as proof that brevity is the soul of wit...

  25. #25
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    The "All African" thing is the new card that is getting a lot of play these days.

    Seems to me that's been the prevailing theory for the last 50 years or more.

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