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First Black man competes in Tour de France

MAKING HISTORY: Yohann Gène

MEET THE world’s first black cyclist to compete in the Tour de France.

Yohann Gène, who has been a professional cyclist since 2005, made history last weekend by becoming the first black man to compete in most prestigious of cycling's three grand tours.

Hailing from Guadeloupe, Gene, who says he used to watch the tour as a child, moved to France at the age of 17 where he enrolled in a special high school course for athletically gifted pupils.

Despite being described by other cyclists as a ‘model teammate’ and vital to support the leaders, success, the 30-year-old has still had to deal with racism.

"We have been subject to racism. I had to deal with a few problems and contact sponsors of two foreign teams about it”, said Jean-René Bernaudeau, Gene’s Europcarteam manager.

Tour de France is running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th 2011 and will cover a total distance of 3,430.5 kilometers.

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