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Sports & Race

Would You Believe That The Tour de France Only Now Has Its First Black Rider?

Quick: if I asked you whether or not a black cyclist had ever competed in the Tour de France, what would your answer be? Keep in mind, they’ve been doing this thing since 1903.

Your answer would be yes, because at some point over the last 108 years, you would have figured a black rider would have had to have competed in the Tour, if not for no other reason than the fact that a color barrier of any sort exisiting in 2011 sounds so weird.

Mind-blowingly, there was a color barrier in the Tour de France, until this year. When Yohann Gene competed in this year’s Tour, he was the first black man to do so in the race’s history.

And (surprise!) the welcome mat hasn’t exactly been laid out for him.

Gene, who is of Guadeloupian descent, has been the target of racism during his rise to cycling’s largest stage, as his manager, Jean-Rene Bernaudeau explained to Time World.

“I had to deal with a few problems and contact sponsors of two foreign teams about it. After the doping incidents, I couldn’t let racism be part of cycling.”

Gene, 30, is currently in 125th place.

[Black Sports Online, Time World, Image via]

  • Brian Stows Happy Wife

    I am not impressed.  You mean to tell me that this Black Guy sucks at Basketball, Football, Baseball, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Hockey, Gold and Soccer so much taht he has to peddle a Bike???  He is letting the Brothers down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1130649626 Christopher Byrd

    Check the brother out its 2011 he hes the first

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I do believe that the Tour’s first African American rider is this year.  It’s AFRICAN AMERICAN!!!  My bike?  At the 24 Hour Fitness on Sunset and Vine.  Overlooking the movie theater.  C’mon!  You see those accidents?  I mean what the hell are you watching?  Bikes rolling in to each other, broken legs, broken shoulders and finally a car knocking into riders?  Are you kidding me?  The only accident I’m having on a bike is, well I ain’t having no accident on a bike riding in a car.  I’m safe, in my window, overlooking the movie theater entrance, looking at the good looking women going to see that dumb movie Larry Crowne.  Not changing the topic but I was forced in to seeing that movie Saturday night and was hoping 20 minutes in to the flick that chest pains were coming and I’d have to be rushed to Cedars but no, not my luck.  Black rider, it’s African American!         

  • Tony

    He’s not American, you idiot.

  • Joedino

    A person is only African American if he is from those countries you moron!! The article clearly states he’s Guadluepian!!! He’s Black

  • Sideahderoad

    How could it be African American when he is French? He is NOT American. We refer to this as Afro or Afri-Caribbean.

  • Jscook

    There are great athletes from all races and countries. I see this mass of humanity in the tour de france and notice the absence of the blacks.

  • a passer by

    On the other hand, almost all players in the French national football team are black. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_66KDTRTMBUCHILF6YXLNDNR6NU Jeff C

    What a bunch of idiots, cycling is not a popular sport among most blacks and the ones who do compete have not been able to reach the level required to get on a Tour team beased on their PERFORMANCE, you racist clowns act as if being black automatically qualifies you to be good at EVERY sport.  I had a black roomate who rode, I was much stronger then him on the bike, he was a better runner.

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