As we continue to commemorate Black History Month, we also want to recognize people from around the cycling community who are making history in the present. Among them is Justin Williams (@juswilliamz), the 31-year-old founder of L39ion of Los Angeles, a pro cycling team that’s dedicated to increasing diversity and encouraging inclusion in the sport. An accomplished professional racer and 11-time national champion himself, Justin is an influential figure in the cycling world who’s been working for years to increase representation of non-white cyclists.
During their nearly two-hour conversation, Justin shares the unique backstory of how he got into riding while growing up in LA and offers an honest perspective on the positives and negatives of professional cycling, the importance of diversity for growing the sport, the legacy he hopes to leave behind, and more. Although their chat is framed mostly from a road racing perspective, there are lots of parallels and themes that cross over into our corner of the cycling world.