A number of Tour de France cyclists wore masks displaying anti-racism messages ahead of Sunday's Stage 21 to Paris.

The gesture is the first significant and visible show of solidarity from cycling after the majority of other major sports made their feelings known on the issue following the return of professional sport this summer.

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The move, which was organised through the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associes), comes after Kevin Reza, the only black rider at the 2020 Tour de France, held a number of interviews about the lack of anti-racism messaging within the sport.

Tour de France cyclists on #NoToRacism - "It’s important we bring this message"

"We haven’t done really anything as a sport to end racism, so we’re now in potentially the biggest sporting event in the world and if we can use our platform to make a difference then we should,” Caleb Ewan told Eurosport.

Wout van Aert also spoke to Eurosport on the topic before Stage 21, saying. "The Tour de France is the biggest stage to do an action like this, and until now we saw a lot of actions in other sports but not in cycling. It’s important we bring this message, I wrote it in the biggest letters I could because I’m totally behind it and it’s important we show unity."

Team Jumbo rider Belgium's Wout van Aert and his teammates wait prior to the 21st and last stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 122 km between Mantes-la-Jolie and Champs Elysees Paris, on September 20, 2020

Image credit: Getty Images

Cees Bol said: "It’s important we make the point within the peloton that there’s no place for racism."

And NTT's Ryan Gibbons said: "I think it’s quite special that the riders are showing solidarity, coming together and making a stand. Cycling hasn’t done something like this before and I think it’s quite special that we are doing it. I’m proud of the peloton."

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