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Orica-GreenEdge's Swiss rider reportedly called Europcar's Kévin Réza a "dirty negro"...

Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has accused Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Albasini of racially abusing his team’s rider Kévin Réza during yesterday’s Stage 16 of the Tour de France.

Both riders were in a 21-man breakaway group on the stage, with Albasini said to have called Réza a “dirty negro,” reports the Sud Ouest newspaper.

Following the stage, Bernaudeau headed to the Orica-GreenEdge team bus to speak to his counterpart at the Australian team.

“I don’t tolerate racism,” said Bernaudeau. “After doping, it’s the other scourge of this sport. I found Kévin very upset after the race. This is unacceptable, inadmissible.”

Later he revealed that he had spoken to Albasini on the telephone, with the Swiss rider denying he had made racist comments.

“I told him what I thought of his attitude,” added Bernaudeau. “He told me it wasn’t true. But I trust Kévin and he was upset. I told Albasini to go and see Kévin at the start [of today’s stage] in Saint-Gaudens. I won’t add anything else, but above all I don’t want to drop an issue such as this.”

Aged 26, Réza made his Tour de France debut last year and finished seventh on the final day’s stage on the Champs-Elysées.

Born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe, Réza said in an interview with Adelaide Now at the Tour Down Under in January that he had never encountered racism from fellow riders.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

16 comments

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SamShaw [266 posts] 3 years ago
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Should this really be up to the riders to resolve themselves? Surely the UCI or ASO have policies regarding racism. Good on Bernaudeau for being vocal about it - I don't buy Albasini's "I didn't do nuffink, Gov" statement, it's hard to believe that Réza would lie about it, especially given they popped off the break at around the same time.

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notfastenough [3722 posts] 3 years ago
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@Sam, I think the point being made is that Bernaudeau will let it go if he thinks the apology is sincere, otherwise yes, I would think it would get flagged with the UCI, who I hope have a stance on the subject.

I know it's historically a European sport, but the lack of non-white riders is a bit striking. Fortunately it's changing as the sport becomes more global, I've lost count of the number of times this month that Phil Liggett has told me about the chinese rider that's spent more time on the front than anyone else...

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HarrogateSpa [462 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't really see how the apology can be sincere. I mean you don't accidentally call someone that. It would never occur to me to say that. So you either think it or you don't - and if you do, maybe you should be chucked off your team.

Point about Phil Liggett noted. Mind you, most of the points he makes, you get to hear countless times. The one about number 13 being upside down, ho, ho, ho? Or Chris Horner's accident while training in Italy?

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 3 years ago
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STAMP IT OUT ASAP! there is no place for this in our sport. Period!

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Joelsim [1975 posts] 3 years ago
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Disgusting. Needs a ban.

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dreamlx10 [192 posts] 3 years ago
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We need a quota system like every other walk of life. That'll show these bloody cyclists.

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leqin [193 posts] 2 years ago
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HarrogateSpa wrote:

Point about Phil Liggett noted. Mind you, most of the points he makes, you get to hear countless times. The one about number 13 being upside down, ho, ho, ho? Or Chris Horner's accident while training in Italy?

(Phil)
The same is true about all commentators on every TV channel - they all follow a formula of constant repetition of the same stories and facts.

(Paul)
Well Phil did you know that the same is true about all commentators on every TV channel - they all follow a formula of constant repetition of the same stories and facts.

(Phil)
Ah but Paul the same is true about all commentators on every TV channel - they all follow a formula of constant repetition of the same stories and facts.

(Paul)
Oh look there's a pretty church Phil and did you know that the same is true about all commentators on every TV channel - they all follow a formula of constant repetition of the same stories and facts.

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leqin [193 posts] 2 years ago
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So if this is true then Albasini should be ashamed of himself - there is no place for racism in our sport. Period. If true then he should be booted out of the team, because we don't need him or his narrow minded opinions.

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Andrewwd [40 posts] 2 years ago
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If there was no racist remark, Albasini or Orica GE need to come out and tell exactly what was actually said. There is no way this should be settled with a handshake if there was racism involved.

There is a real possibility that Reza as the only black rider in the tour feels some level of pressure not to rock the boat. Look at what happened to Christophe Bassons.

This needs to be brought wide out into the open by the teams, or the UCI, or ASO, and properly addressed.

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farrell [1946 posts] 2 years ago
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Andrewwd wrote:

If there was no racist remark, Albasini or Orica GE need to come out and tell exactly what was actually said. There is no way this should be settled with a handshake if there was racism involved.

There is a real possibility that Reza as the only black rider in the tour feels some level of pressure not to rock the boat. Look at what happened to Christophe Bassons.

This needs to be brought wide out into the open by the teams, or the UCI, or ASO, and properly addressed.

Given that Reza has publicly said on more than one occasion that he has never encountered racism in the peloton I am finding it very difficult to believe that he would suddenly 'cry wolf'.

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dreamlx10 [192 posts] 2 years ago
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leqin wrote:

our sport

Since when did you become one of the owners of cycling ?

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Andrewwd [40 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell wrote:

Given that Reza has publicly said on more than one occasion that he has never encountered racism in the peloton I am finding it very difficult to believe that he would suddenly 'cry wolf'.

Agree - and to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that. What I was getting at is that it's possible Reza wont want to pursue the matter for fear of ostracising himself within the peloton. Hence why the UCI or ASO needs to step up and thouroughly investigate this.

As Sam Shaw says in the first comment, and for the reason above, it shouldn't be up to the riders to sort this out.

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dreamlx10 [192 posts] 2 years ago
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As a white man Albasini is automatically guilty of course.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

As a white man Albasini is automatically guilty of course.

Daily Mail is over there, on the right....

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farrell [1946 posts] 2 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

As a white man Albasini is automatically guilty of course.

Fuck off pale face.

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Max_headset [19 posts] 2 years ago
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What the Swiss Racists?.. surely not I have a Swiss friend of 'Gypsy' roots in Winterthur who is the remnant of a family ground down by the forgotten holocaust who regularly used to experience shop doors slammed in her face and locked for 'early closing' not to mention the muttered under breath name calling... apparently there is no stolen nazi war swag at all in Switzerland that the Swiss need hand back to its proper owners.. no sir.. not much anyway.... Swiss Racists never they don't have any of that islamic mosque worshipping nonsense either