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.
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."
— Kévin (@KevReza) September 10, 2020
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."
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.