'A movie that should have been made long ago': New film celebrates cycling’s first Black World Champion

Now in production, Whirlwind chronicles Major Taylor’s life and his lasting influence.

Scenes from the Whirlwind documentary film
(Image credit: Worcester Whirlwind)

The list of trailblazing African Americans in athletics is long, and while the achievements of many competitors of color —like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson and Bill Russell— are well documented and celebrated today, others have fallen into obscurity. One such athlete is Major Taylor, cycling’s first Black World Champion and one of the world’s first Black sports superstars.

A new film titled Whirlwind aims to return Major Taylor to the spotlight by celebrating his trailblazing life and lasting influence. 

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Tim Peck
Freelance writer

Tim Peck is a freelance writer based in Concord, New Hampshire, specializing in writing about all things outdoors in the Northeast. With a devotion to dirt and a need for speed, it’s no surprise Tim went from gravel-curious to gravel-obsessed faster than a double-digit grade descent. Tim believes that days on the bike and miles logged are just as important as KOMs and race results and tries to balance his time between his first love, mountain biking, and his current flame, gravel riding.