Documentary: The Rise of African Cycling

Watch the inside story on the development of African cycling with this new GCN+ documentary

Clock19:00, Tuesday 29th August 2023

Biniam Girmay’s win at the 2022 Gent-Wevelgem achieved one of those sublime reactions in cycling media: universal approval rating. In cycling, as in all sports, different riders elicit different reactions. It is rare that a winner of a big race produces a reaction from nearly everyone going in the same positive direction. But when Girmay won on that day, the positive reactions were everywhere.

The reason why, in part, comes down to Girmay’s positivity and style. In every interview and nearly every photo the Eritrean is happy, positive and smiling. On the bike, his pedal stroke and fluidity is captivating. But there is more to his popularity. For a sport that is growing and becoming more international, Girmay’s win is one that raises the hope that he is ushering in a new continent into competitive cycling and with it new and exciting talent from Africa.

In a new GCN+ documentary, the story of African cycling is brought into focus with a look at the Tour of Rwanda, the young riders that are inspired by the Black African trail blazers in Europe and what riders like Girmay can mean for the future of African competition. In the documentary, GCN speaks with so many different voices, including Girmay, Doug Ryder and Chris Froome, involved with bringing African cycling to global prominence, while showing the vivacity of the racing in the continent at the Tour of Rwanda.

Furthermore, with the continent having a higher percentage of unpaved roads than paved, the documentary highlights the work of the well funded Team Amani and the Migration Race. Team Amani goes even outside of cycling with its work with African riders on nutrition and academic education.

Biniam Girmay’s recent successes have shown that African cycling is on the up, ready at last to follow athletics and football into the big time. But why has it taken so long, and what’s needed to take it all the way? Set against the beauty and battles of the Tour of Rwanda, we explore the past, present and future of riders from Eritrea, South Africa, Rwanda and more, meeting Girmay and the rising stars hot on his heels, as well as the people passionate about giving these riders the opportunities they deserve.

Check out the trailer for the new documentary Breaking Through: The Rise of African Cycling above and be sure to subscribe to GCN+ to watch a deep archive of bespoke cycling documentaries, as well as live racing from across the calendar and around the world.

Related Content

Link to Froome's racing return to Africa
YouTube video LAOQDg0_y7U

Froome's racing return to Africa

Watch the first African-born Tour de France champion return to race on his home continent for the first time since his youth on GCN+

Clock
Link to Spring Classics 2024: Essential guide to the races and riders
A selection of the finest Spring Classics

Spring Classics 2024: Essential guide to the races and riders

All you need to know about Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, and everything in between: A cycling enthusiast's in-depth companion to one of the most exciting periods of the race season

Clock
Link to No Egan Bernal but Ineos Grenadiers rumble towards Strade Bianche with a stellar team around Tom Pidcock
Tom Pidock (Ineos Grenadiers) won Strade Bianche in 2023

No Egan Bernal but Ineos Grenadiers rumble towards Strade Bianche with a stellar team around Tom Pidcock

'Of course, it will add a target on my back but it doesn’t change how I go into the race' says defending champion Pidcock

Clock
Link to 10 riders to watch at Strade Bianche
Tadej Pogačar stormed to victory last time he lined up at Strade Bianche. Can he do it again?

10 riders to watch at Strade Bianche

From Tadej Pogačar to Neve Bradbury, here are ten riders we are tipping for success this weekend in Italy

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox