First Black Cyclist to Win a Major Race

By Cuinn Huber 

Historically, the sport of cycling, as incredible as it is, has mainly been a sport dominated by white athletes, with all but one of 108 Tour de France races being won by a white athlete. Just one month ago, in Gent Wevelgem, the event marked the first time a black cyclist won a major world tour race. Biniam Girmany of Eritrea won in a sprint finish, beating some of the best cyclists in the world, including two Tour de France stage winners–Soren Kragh Anderson of Denmark and Arnaud Demare of France. He also beat out this year’s winner of Milan, San Remo Matej Mahorivic, and 2019 World road race champion, Mads Pederson of Denmark. This is a historic first, and just the beginning of making cycling a sport open to all people regardless of ethnicity. The sport has mainly been white dominated because most of the big races are in Europe due to how ingrained it is in their culture. Also, because cycling is an expensive sport as compared to say, running. However, there have been recent efforts to have more races in places such as Columbia and Costa Rica. The big cycling teams have also made an effort to recruit more athletes from outside of Europe, in particular from Colombia. This is because cyclists from there are usually from the mountain regions, giving endurance that is second to none. But, they can’t stop there. There needs to be more opportunities for Asian and African cyclists to shine and join world tour teams. While it is still in the early stages, the sport is heading toward a much more diverse and equitable future!