France - Africa

African cycling on the rise

Credit / Jock Boyer

No black African cyclist has ever taken part in the Tour de France. The most prestigous cycling event in the world ended in Paris on Sunday, and Team Africa Rising hopes to bring an African team to the Tour in the near future.  

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Team Africa Rising wants to be the first hundred percent African team to race the European circuit and eventually take part in the Tour de France.

Speaking to RFI, Jock Boyer, the founder of Team Africa Rising says Africa has more than enough talented riders to achieve this.

58-Year-old Boyer made Tour de France history himself when he was the first American to participate in the legendary annual bicycle race in 1981.

Team Africa Rising has formed a partnership with Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Boyer says that he can field a team from these three countries "pretty quickly."

But "it will take a couple of years to get the cyclists to the right level for international competition."

Boyer rates Eritrea as the strongest cycling nation in Africa.

"It's a national sport for them," he says. "They have sixty years of cycling history."

He describes Ethiopia as having a big talent base and being motivated to improve their cycling.  

Despite the political differences that exist between these and many African countries, Boyer says that sport transcends these tensions.

Boyer has spent seven years building and coaching the national Rwandan cycling team before starting this African cycling project.

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