The Black Cyclone – Major Taylor

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September 3, 2013 by Jutta

Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor. One of THE fastest cyclists of his time. I must admit, I knew nothing of this man until I began searching in Google the words –  ‘how to cycle faster’.

An African American cyclist who began his cycling career at the age of 16.  Who had won the world 1 mile track cycling championship in 1899 after setting numerous world records.


Although favoured abroad, and especially by the French, ‘Major’ Taylor was racially discriminated against in the Southern states of America, where he also was not permitted to compete against Caucasian men. Taylor took part in  European tour’s where he won 40 races out of 57.  He also competed in New Zealand and Australia.

Unfortunately Taylor retired from professional cycling at the age of 32 due to the incessant racial abuse he had faced throughout his career. Taylor passed away at the age of 53.

A monument to his memory stands in Worcester today.

Major Taylor1357941842

According to Taylor’s trainers, the key to his success was through not over training. 

 For further reading



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