(Reuters) - Giro d'Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart said cycling has a "problem" with diversity and that he will sponsor an under-23 rider to join his former team Hagens Berman Axeon to help address the issue.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider, who made the announcement on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CLcBLAenLTq along with a photo of him taking a knee, said the chosen athlete would work with team owner Axel Merckx to race this summer.
"Cycling has a problem with diversity and inclusivity," said Geoghegan Hart. "It is not unique within sport, but we must face it head on all the same.
"I will be taking action with @hbaxeon by sponsoring an under-23 rider to race with the team this summer. I hope this can be the beginning of a joint effort to increase racial diversity within the amazing sport of Cycling."
The Briton said he was inspired by sports personalities Billie Jean King, Lewis Hamilton and Marcus Rashford, who have all campaigned for greater diversity, equality and social justice.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)