Biniam Girmay‘s Gent–Wevelgem win is important!

After a day out on the bike, today I sit down and open Cycling Tips back at the house. What I see has me running round the house shouting yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas. Being a person of colour, living in Switzerland and coming from Scotland I can actually say I have not met another black road cyclist…ever. I see on instagram the communities of inclusive cyclists that have been growing in places like London and it matters. I devour all the content I can get on Legion of LA because it matters. But today, I can say to my son….”you wanna win Flanders?”. Today I know he can believe in it.

No question posed, I just gotta post here, because it matters, and I hope it matters to you.

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Thanksfully, I watched the replay before checking ctips forum, but come on, try to not spoil in the title of the thread! :sweat_smile:

Srill, I agree with you this is a great day and I hope it will create a momentum and that we will see a more diverse pro peloton in the future. Not that long ago columbian riders were mocked at and well, there is also thay more recent Moscon / Reza case.

I am however surprised that you have never met any black cyclist in Switzerland. I have been living in the french speaking part for 18 years and have definitely seen some in the lake of geneva area. I remember riding alongside a black us rider several times, we had a similar commute so would spend the ride chatting. Additionnally the World Cycling Center at the UCI headquarters run a program to help rider from federations with small budgets. They come here to run a training and racing program in europe for a full season. Most eritrean riders in world tour went to such program and I’ve seen riders from other african countries. They usually take part to the domestic elite road races in Switzerland with that UCI world cycling center jersey. Not sure if he is still doing it but former track sprinter Frédéric Magné used to be part of the staff, I remember riding alongside him and talking about it.

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yeah it’s great. great news to see cycling spread it wings among new cultures and ethnicities. I agree

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A great result for the future of the sport, and a good result for the rider personally. With Justin Williams as well, hopefully there can be some meaningful role models for young people of colour to look to in the sport.

Speaking more generally, being fairly close to London (UK), many of our local cycling clubs are (relatively) diverse, and have become noticeably more so in recent years, but I accept that’s not necessarily representative of all clubs everywhere, and this result can only help. More representation and more cyclists across all communities, at all levels, can only be a good thing.

Spoiler?

I was at Wevelgem on Sunday and it was great to watch. There were a few Eritrean fans among the crowd who understandably were over the moon and it was a popular victory amongst the locals.

I’m seeing this as well although it’s still got a long way to go. Likewise Asian members being of South East Asian heritage myself.

A lot does depend on the club itself making a concerted effort to try and diversify its membership. You can really tell now which ones have tried.

The cycling culture is huge in Eritrea. I believe they shut down part of the capital for crit racing every Sunday. There are always loads of people training on a huge range of bikes, but not many of them have anything vry new or race bred. Unfortunately I have never been able to take a bike myself and in any event, foreigners have huge restrictions on mobility there.

Asmara is a fantastic place to visit full of old Italianate art nouveau buildings. The people are great and very welcoming. The climb from the coastal plain up to the city would be an awesome ride: about 2500m in 60 odd kms. The temperature change is pretty dramatic too. Went from about 45C on the coast to 25C at the top of the hill.

Such a great win this guy could be a natural! sensible decision to miss Flanders, that will come…