July 1, 2022, the 109th Tour de France. The first time Team Africa Rising is covering it live on the ground. Unfortunately, this year no Black African riders are on the start list. Not an Africa Rising moment at Le Tour.
South Africans Daryl Impey, Reinhart Janse van Rensburg, and Louis Meintjes made for a strong showing from South Africa. Unfortunately, Daryl, a former Tour de France stage winner, tested positive for COVID 24 hours before the start. In 2017, Louis Meintjes finished 8th overall and 2nd youth in the Tour. This year he finished 6th in the Dauphiné, and it appears he’s regained his form from years past.
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg owns the most inspirational story for this year’s Tour. After Team Qhubeka Nexthash lost their World Tour license at the end of 2021, Reinhardt was left without a team. In just the past few months, he won the South Africa National Road Cycling Championships. He signed with Lotto Soudal, and now finds himself in his 6th Tour de France.
Once again, the lack of diversity at this year’s Tour and the explosion of Eritrean cyclists’ results is why Team Africa Rising is present. The massive crowds and a deep and expansive start list of cyclists at the recent Eritrean National Cycling Championships indicate an increasing groundswell of talent and support. Other countries, typically not hosting consistent National Championships, have joined the field, including Eswatini (Swaziland), Benin, Togo, and Mali. African cycling is at a significant tipping point in development. Team Africa Rising continues to lead in development, promotion, and giving voice to African cyclists.
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