Early 1990’s Beninese National Team
The author’s first article on CyclingNews
Suddenly that 8sp roadie doesn’t seem so bad does it?
Nice to read something refreshing like this, rather than the latest crabon fibre piece of crap
Reading that kind of reminded me of how much pro-cycling is like tennis. A rich kids sport. Kind of topical as well because of the world cup, which truly is a world game as all a kid needs is something resembling a ball, some space and time to practice and they can aspire to be the best. I admit that I do enjoy watching a few of the richer nations getting their arse handed to them by the little guys during the cup as well. The way in which sport gets perverted into an arms race bothers me, I know it can’t and won’t change, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. If someone has the strength and ability then they should win on that, not on the back of their sponsors giving them some magical technological advantage over the rest. I hope that these guys are able to reach their full potential and not be held back by lack of finances. I would rather cheer these boys on then some spoilt juiced up European.
That was an inspiring little story before the weekend. Cheers B.
I spent some of my years growing up in a remote community, and seeing kids with no shirt and no shoes beat (seemingly) well trained athletes was always a humbling experience.
I have a subscription to CX Magazine they had an article on something similar in a previous issue:
“The other show is called “Allez, Allez Zimbabwe”. Former Cyclo-Cross World Champion and four-time winner of Paris-Roubaix Roger De Vlaeminck started a team consisting of six guys from Zimbabwe. The show details their progress as they struggle to become respectable bike racers. In Belgium, the show is rather controversial.”
It looked at the background and where the riders had ended up. It was pretty cool.
Kind of puts me in mind of when I was a kid in one of Victoria’s rural slums. We had an exchange student from PNG visit our school. We scrounged him a pair of footy boots but he didn’t much like them so he cut down a few stops and screwed them into the callouses on the soles of his feet to stop slippage on the cow-and-sheep-shit covered local oval (club couldn’t afford to mow so it agisted livestock on the oval to keep the grass down). Bleak times but good times.
Who needs studs? The warts usually give enough traction.
Yeah, I’m lost on that one too.
CC was giving me shit for my sentimental story. Crocodile tears are hard to convey in prose it seems.
that was a nice story…