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Rapha book “celebrates the stories of black cyclists”

New volume by Dr Marlon Moncrieffe covers the history of black athletes in competitive cycling

Rapha has published a new book called Desire Discrimination Determination – Black Champions in Cycling that’s said to be a collection of international and historical stories of the black athlete experience in competitive cycling.

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“Written by Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, this book is set to make a groundbreaking contribution of knowledge desperately needed in the global cycling industry, taking on issues regarding access, diversity, inclusion, representation and anti-racism in policy and practice,” says Rapha.

“This book will provide much-needed insight into the rich history of black cyclists that has been largely overlooked until now. Marlon takes his own racing experiences, research, and analytical expertise through a wide range of stories, personal reflections, and oral testimonies and interviews.”

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Different generations of well-known black cyclists are covered, including the likes of US riders Major Taylor, Nelson Vails, and British track and BMX star Shanaze Reade.

“The book explores how these protagonists first discovered cycling, their mentors, their ambitions and desires, as well as the explicit and implicit forms of discrimination they faced due to the colour of their skin,” says Rapha. “It seeks to understand and uncover how despite the white-dominated sport they inhabited, their determination to succeed was never dampened.”

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The book is illustrated with what are said to be rare photographs and reproductions spanning decades, from the first non-white rider to race the Tour de France in 1914 to the present day.

“Desire Discrimination Determination – Black Champions in Cycling book is available now through Rapha Editions for £25.

Check out the book over on Rapha's website

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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OldRidgeback | 2 years ago
1 like

This book has been long awaited. I know former BMX champion Charlie Reynolds well and I'm glad he's amongst those getting some wider recognition. 

zeeridesbikes | 2 years ago
1 like

As a South Asian cyclist I'm always a bit paranoid my race will draw a few strange looks or comments when out on the road or at events, so far it's never happened, not so I have noticed anyway. 

I would like to see the sport become more diverse, mainly to show people from all backgrounds how incredible cycling can be. They don't know what they're missing. 

The stories in this book will hopefully contribute to that message. 

Freddy56 | 2 years ago

Super, anything that evolves our sport from where it is now, to invite and be open to all.

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