Remembering World Champion Cyclist "Major" Taylor

Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor (November 26, 1878 – June 21, 1932) was an American professional cyclist.
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor (November 26, 1878 – June 21, 1932) was an American professional cyclist. He was born and raised in Indianapolis, where he worked in bicycle shops and began racing multiple distances in the track and road disciplines of cycling.

As a teenager, he moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, with his trainer and had a successful amateur career, which included breaking track records.

Taylor turned professional in 1896, at the age of 18, living in cities on the East Coast and participating in multiple track events including six-day races. He moved his focus to the sprint event in 1897, competing in a national racing circuit, winning many races and gaining popularity with the public. Between 1898 and 1899, he set numerous world records in race distances ranging from the quarter-mile (0.4 km) to the two-mile (3.2 km).

Taylor won the sprint event at the 1899 world track championships to become the first African American to achieve the level of cycling world champion and the second Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport (following Canadian boxer George Dixon, 1892). He was also a national sprint champion in 1899 and 1900. He raced in the U.S., Europe and Australasia between 1901 and 1904, beating the world's best riders.

After a ​2 1⁄2-year hiatus, he made a brief return in 1907, before retiring aged 32 to his home in Worcester in 1910.

Source: Wikipedia

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