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"I'm ready to fight": Kevin Reza, the only black cyclist at this year's Tour de France, wants cycling to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement

The B&B Hotels–Vital Concept rider says that his voice doesn't "carry as much weight" as megastars in sports such as F1 and basketball, but wants his sport to move forward...

While other sports have seen their stars front campaigns and 'take the knee' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, nothing of the sort has happened at professional cycling's biggest event - and now Kevin Reza, the only black rider competing at the Tour de France this year, is keen to see cycling show solidarity with the movement as he explores ways to voice his personal support. 

Police watchdog upholds complaint after officer carried out stop and search on Black Cyclists Network founder after ‘smelling’ marijuana

While cycling isn't without its scandals of course, the issue of race isn't one that rears its head as regularly as it does in sports such as football; but as Reza's status as the Tour's only black rider indicates, this could be as much to do with the fact that there are so few non-white cyclists in the first place. There are also very few cyclists who have profiles high enough to get their voices heard by very large audiences. 

Speaking to Reuters, Reza said: “It’s a shame. You can see the big names in sport giving themselves the means to speak, to make noise, to show their solidarity with this movement.

“I’m Kevin Reza, I don’t carry as much weight in world sport as Lewis Hamilton in Formula One or Lebron James in the NBA.”

Reza believes he can make a difference despite the stark lack of representation from ethnic minorities in cycling; and while he doesn't think the peloton itself has a racism problem, he is currently deciding on the best way to voice his own support for BLM, while urging the sport of cycling to move forward:

“I’m thinking about putting things in place, about being able to show my support for this movement. It’s not always easy and it’s tricky to go headlong and not think about exactly what you want to do”, explained Reza.

“I’m 32, I have 10 years of career behind me, so I feel really free and ready to fight and move forward."

Reza also recently appeared on the French radio station France Inter, discussing the Black Lives Matter movement and being the only black cyclist in the Tour de France peloton. In the interview he spoke about the rap song "Dolce Vita" by Booba, written in tribute to George Floyd, which he says give him feelings of "both rage and peace." 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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