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Ethnic minority pro's...

Old 07-18-07, 06:43 PM
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Ethnic minority pro's...

Why is it that in the big races like the TDF its all white guys?

At the olympics with the long distance running the guys from Ghana and other high altitude countries dominate. The Japanese have a long history of Track racing and I would have thought with their big population pool and smaller stature would have some awesome guys capable of riding up the Pyrenees...

I'm hoping other countries see that they could be contenders too and we see a bit of diversity in future years!

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-18-07, 06:51 PM
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Answer in short

There are a lot of hispanic riders from both South America, Central America, and Spain, like Euskatel Euskadi which is essentialy the Basque National team, a region of Spain. The reason there aren't a lot of Asian or African riders on the pro level is that their Pro Continetal teams don't get a lot of European exposure to be picked up by European ProTour teams. Also most of Asia and Africa is too poor to have a large pool of budding high quality cyclists. Although there are several asian pro tour cyclists, they aren't on tour teams, I don't believe. I would like to see more diverstiy, but don't in the coming future because of extreme poverty in Asia and Africa, although, lot's of Hispanic riders, GO CONTADOR!
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Old 07-18-07, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmohan View Post
Answer in short

There are a lot of hispanic riders from both South America, Central America, and Spain, like Euskatel Euskadi which is essentialy the Basque National team, a region of Spain. The reason there aren't a lot of Asian or African riders on the pro level is that their Pro Continetal teams don't get a lot of European exposure to be picked up by European ProTour teams. Also most of Asia and Africa is too poor to have a large pool of budding high quality cyclists. Although there are several asian pro tour cyclists, they aren't on tour teams, I don't believe. I would like to see more diverstiy, but don't in the coming future because of extreme poverty in Asia and Africa, although, lot's of Hispanic riders, GO CONTADOR!
+1 Although Disco has both Fuyu Li and Fumi Beppu.


Besides the budget/poverty issue I think culture also plays a role. Some countries have strong traditions and infrastructures for certain sports compared with others. Factors such as that may play a role in what people choose to pursue. For example, look at Germany's dressage riders. That's always the big joke at the olympics - hmmm now who is going to win this time? Other people do win, but Germany has often dominated compared to other countries. They have a very strong infrastructure for training in that area of equestrian competition. There are plenty of weathly people in the US as well and in other areas of the world, but their training and equine breeding programs don't have the same history and quality of Germany's programs.

Asian countries have never been that involved with equine sports but over the last few years they have been getting more involved. It has just taken a really long time.

So it will probably be similar with cycling in some ways. These other places may get involved it will just take them a bit longer to climb the learning curve.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:24 PM
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African countries are all poor. However the French have several good riders. Mederic Clain rode the Vuelta a few years back for Cofidis and Yohann Gene rode the Giro this year for Bouyges-Telecom.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:35 PM
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One of the more disappointing aspects to the American cyclin scene is the lack of minorities. I often wonder how a place like Denver cannot have a program to introduce innner city youth to the sport of cycling. I mean, you would think you could get local shops, chain stores (Performance Bike would at least be good for someting), manufacturers as well as city and county government support to buy bicycles for these kids to ride (but remain owned by the not-for-profit organization so bikes can be passed down).
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Old 07-18-07, 07:38 PM
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My understanding is that Mexico has a real bad political problem with their Federation, so their truly best riders seldom make it out of the country.
Genreally, the winds of change are blowing, but they're just a breeze at this point.
As most of us can attest, it's not a sport for the masses due to the cost. That will make any changes slow to occur.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:39 PM
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As for Africa:

I often wonder if genetically Africans do not have the right mix for road cycling. Could it be that East Africans are too geared towards marathon running to the point where they could not develop the power cyclists need while West Africans would be great track riders, but would lack to overall endurance for road cycling.

(Note - please do not misconstrue this as racism. You would be a fool not to realize that population groups have specific genetic traits that make them better at certain sports versus others. Hence why Nordic populations seem to do really well at sports like the Hammer throw and East Africans dominate long-distance running)
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Old 07-18-07, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mezza View Post
Why is it that in the big races like the TDF its all white guys?

At the olympics with the long distance running the guys from Ghana?????and other high altitude countries dominate. The Japanese have a long history of Track racing and I would have thought with their big population pool and smaller stature would have some awesome guys capable of riding up the Pyrenees...

I'm hoping other countries see that they could be contenders too and we see a bit of diversity in future years!

What do you guys think?
Ghana, to my knowledge, has never had a medalist in anything above 800m.

Also, just to make a point, you can't go out and say that Africans would be awesome at cycling just because they have great cardiovascular systems and are light in weight. Kenya tried to take a bunch of pretty damn fast and high testing (VO2, LT, etc.) runners and turn them into cross country skiers. And guess what happened? They got hammered. Absolutely crushed on the elite level. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but some ethnicities are good at one sport, but not all. You can't translate talent like that. It just doesn't work.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
One of the more disappointing aspects to the American cyclin scene is the lack of minorities. I often wonder how a place like Denver cannot have a program to introduce innner city youth to the sport of cycling. I mean, you would think you could get local shops, chain stores (Performance Bike would at least be good for someting), manufacturers as well as city and county government support to buy bicycles for these kids to ride (but remain owned by the not-for-profit organization so bikes can be passed down).
I actually think this is a waste of resources. The sport is too small to focus on kids on the fringe. Inner city kids can't afford racing bikes, have no place to keep them if they could, little access to shops or roads to train on. USA Cycling is much better served going after middle class kids, of whom 10-20% will be minorities anyway. Go to the fish; don't wait for the fish to come to you.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:24 PM
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^^^ Here in my part of Texas our middle class is more than 10 -20 minority. i agree with your statement however.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
One of the more disappointing aspects to the American cyclin scene is the lack of minorities. I often wonder how a place like Denver cannot have a program to introduce innner city youth to the sport of cycling. I mean, you would think you could get local shops, chain stores (Performance Bike would at least be good for someting), manufacturers as well as city and county government support to buy bicycles for these kids to ride (but remain owned by the not-for-profit organization so bikes can be passed down).
How many inner city youth would like to be caught by their friends wearing bright colored lycra?

Survey says:


0
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Old 07-18-07, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
I actually think this is a waste of resources. The sport is too small to focus on kids on the fringe. Inner city kids can't afford racing bikes, have no place to keep them if they could, little access to shops or roads to train on. USA Cycling is much better served going after middle class kids, of whom 10-20% will be minorities anyway. Go to the fish; don't wait for the fish to come to you.
I disagree. As I stated, the bikes would not be given to the kids to take care of. So that takes care of that aspect. Secondly, name the football field owned by the local family....can't think of one. So why is it so difficult to imagine having team bikes, which kids ride around the city's parks and MUP's during the weekday, and then head out into the Denver mountains on the weekends?
The bikes could be stored elsewhere and all they would need is a smaller bus with a trailer to transport the materials to races and practice rides in the country. Most schools have these.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
How many inner city youth would like to be caught by their friends wearing bright colored lycra?

Survey says:



0

Most lycra is black where it counts. And there are modest jerseys one can wear.


Have you seen football pants lately?
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Old 07-18-07, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mezza View Post
Why is it that in the big races like the TDF its all white guys?

At the olympics with the long distance running the guys from Ghana and other high altitude countries dominate. The Japanese have a long history of Track racing and I would have thought with their big population pool and smaller stature would have some awesome guys capable of riding up the Pyrenees...

I'm hoping other countries see that they could be contenders too and we see a bit of diversity in future years!

What do you guys think?
+++ racist post points
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Old 07-18-07, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
Most lycra is black where it counts. And there are modest jerseys one can wear.


Have you seen football pants lately?

I grew up as a poor white kid in a poor city area and can tell you that if one of us were seen wearing full lycra riding a bike somebody was going to get beat down.

What do football pants have to do with it?
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Old 07-18-07, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
I disagree. As I stated, the bikes would not be given to the kids to take care of. So that takes care of that aspect. Secondly, name the football field owned by the local family....can't think of one. So why is it so difficult to imagine having team bikes, which kids ride around the city's parks and MUP's during the weekday, and then head out into the Denver mountains on the weekends?
The bikes could be stored elsewhere and all they would need is a smaller bus with a trailer to transport the materials to races and practice rides in the country. Most schools have these.
You and I will both be dead long before something like that ever gets funded with taxpayer money. USA Cycling can't either; they won't even send a team to a World Cup track event unless they have a shot at a medal.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
What do football pants have to do with it?
Football (American) pants are nothing but lycra.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Football (American) pants are nothing but lycra.
And how many inner city youth (hell any youth) wear football pants around for fun? And unless something major has changed since I played football the pants are not lycra. Yeah those that play football as kids wear them for games and practice but you cannot compare football to cycling.

Last edited by wfrogge; 07-18-07 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 07-18-07, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmohan View Post
Answer in short

There are a lot of hispanic riders from both South America, Central America, and Spain, like Euskatel Euskadi which is essentialy the Basque National team, a region of Spain. The reason there aren't a lot of Asian or African riders on the pro level is that their Pro Continetal teams don't get a lot of European exposure to be picked up by European ProTour teams. Also most of Asia and Africa is too poor to have a large pool of budding high quality cyclists. Although there are several asian pro tour cyclists, they aren't on tour teams, I don't believe. I would like to see more diverstiy, but don't in the coming future because of extreme poverty in Asia and Africa, although, lot's of Hispanic riders, GO CONTADOR!
I dont think a Spaniard is an ethnic minority in the Pro peloton...
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Old 07-18-07, 09:48 PM
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I didn't realize that cycling was so lame and "disappointing" that diversity has to be infused into it. Leave those inner city kids alone and let them do their thing; they're not helpless. I've seen more of them on bikes than in any suburb. Good grief.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:05 PM
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Adamfresno, I simply meant to explain that it isn't just white people in the pro peloton, becuase spanish riders cover a notable percentage of the peloton.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
As for Africa:

I often wonder if genetically Africans do not have the right mix for road cycling. Could it be that East Africans are too geared towards marathon running to the point where they could not develop the power cyclists need while West Africans would be great track riders, but would lack to overall endurance for road cycling.

(Note - please do not misconstrue this as racism. You would be a fool not to realize that population groups have specific genetic traits that make them better at certain sports versus others. Hence why Nordic populations seem to do really well at sports like the Hammer throw and East Africans dominate long-distance running)
There are a lot of bad ass female european marathon runners right now, check out who won Boston and Japanese women do pretty damn good too at marathons...just being devils advocate...

For the record I think sports have more to do with culture and ones economic status than genetics...Being America doesnt make you are a bad soccer player...however genes do play a big role...if you are 6 foot plus, it sure helps when you play basketball...and you can not argue that some countries have smaller people than others, just like you siad "population groups have specific genetic traits"
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Old 07-18-07, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmohan View Post
Adamfresno, I simply meant to explain that it isn't just white people in the pro peloton, becuase spanish riders cover a notable percentage of the peloton.
Your right and its nice to see more countries riding is the pro ranks, it means our sport is growing.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
Ghana, to my knowledge, has never had a medalist in anything above 800m.

Also, just to make a point, you can't go out and say that Africans would be awesome at cycling just because they have great cardiovascular systems and are light in weight. Kenya tried to take a bunch of pretty damn fast and high testing (VO2, LT, etc.) runners and turn them into cross country skiers. And guess what happened? They got hammered. Absolutely crushed on the elite level. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but some ethnicities are good at one sport, but not all. You can't translate talent like that. It just doesn't work.

Were these Kenyans you referred to marathoners, middle distance runners, or something else? Was anything mentioned as to why these guys didn't do as well at cross-country skiing? On a related note, I did Bay-to-Breakers this year (a huge 12k race in SF) where there were a lot of top Kenyan runners. I got to see them up close and they have a very slight build. While I'm sure they have awesome Vo2 and LT's, without more muscle I don't think some of them would generate as much power on the bike would be expected.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:37 PM
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I've read somewhere that Japanese Keirin riders tend not to compete internationally because they are making so much money racing in Japan -- why waste time with world cup events?

This topic is interesting to me, but more from what opportunitites are available to folks. I visited a training crit this evening with my two kids this evening and watched the juniors races. Probably 15 kids below 16 doing a Wed. night training race. It was nice to see. Most of the kdis, however, seemed to have parents who were also cyclists. It would be nice to grow the sport in other ways, including the model of what has been done with inner-city tennis, golf, etc., programs. I don't know that many poor kids, of any race, will be attracted to cycling, but outreach efforts don't have to begin by handing out lycra. Bike rodeos, safety events, repair clinics, etc., could also be effective outreach efforts and may bring a bit of positive publicity in the community at large.

Sorry for the rambling -- been a long day.
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