Ahead of this month’s historic La Course by Le Tour de France, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is joining forces with key partners including Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and UCI Women Road World Cup sponsor The Sufferfest, to launch the Women’s Cycling Week (WCW), from 20 to 27 July 2014. The goal of the Women’s Cycling Week is to grow the profile of women’s cycling at every level via a series of events that will take place throughout the month of July to get more girls and women riding.
So what will the Women’s Cycling Week include?
• There’ll be a group of 25 amateur women cyclists completing a Ride to Paris from Utrecht in Holland. They’ll have just four days to complete the ride, arriving on 26 July, the day before La Course by le Tour de France.
Along the way they’ll be sharing their experiences on the UCI website and social media.
Then there’ll be female elite riders setting the pace for women participants in the mass participation event L’Etape du Tour on 20 July.
• The Sufferfest, leading cycling training video company, has created a new training film – ‘Half is Easy’ – that contains content from women’s competitions which will be shown in gyms worldwide. Newly launched, you can watch the trailer here.
And the best bit….
This is where you come in:
Women riders from all over the world are invited to share their cycling experiences and show how they have pushed their boundaries via social media using the hashtags:
The best tweets will be shared on @UCI_cycling and @UCIWomenCycling;
A historic moment for women’s cycling:
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “We are entering an historic moment for women’s cycling with La Course by Le Tour de France – on July 27 which will attract a level of media focus and attention on women’s cycling never before seen in the history of the sport.
“It is critically important that as a sport we embrace this unique opportunity to further shine the light on women’s cycling, and get more girls and women riding bikes. This is exactly what the [Women's Cycling Week] is seeking to achieve.
‘More girls and women riding bikes?’ Whoop! Yes, please! – me
Cookson adds: “Since I became UCI President nine months ago, we have made unprecedented investment in the funding of broadcast packages around the UCI Women Road World Cup. This followed the appointment of Tracey Gaudry as the UCI’s first Women Vice-president, and the establishment of the UCI’s first Women’s Commission. While we still have much to do, I believe that 2014 will be remembered as a breakout year for women’s cycling.”
UCI Vice-president Tracey Gaudry stated:
“The UCI…have embraced that the rise of women’s cycling must involve everybody. There’s enormous diversity on the Women’s Commission with leaders representing women’s teams, sponsors, events, media, coaches and athletes. We’ll be finalising our strategy at our next meeting in a couple of weeks in Paris, in conjunction with La Course by Le Tour de France.
Can I, at this point, once again shout out for much more women’s cycling on TV please?! – me
“Our priorities can be achieved by working with, and supporting the initiatives of cycling stakeholders – such as La Course by le Tour de France by ASO. This outstanding event will showcase the strength, thrill and drama of women’s cycling to millions of viewers worldwide.”
So what is Dutch champion Marianne Vos’ reaction to Women’s Cycling Week 2014?
“The sport has grown in the last few years and it is great to celebrate the achievement of women’s cycling. During this dedicated week, I especially look forward to La Course and meeting the girls riding #RoadtripParis on the Champ Elysees.
“My dream is to make cycling more accessible to women. I want to take the best from both men’s and women’s cycling and use this to create a stage from which the dreams of every aspiring cyclist can be launched, whether they are young, old, fellow professionals or future talents.”
Yay! – me
So ladies, get involved and use the hashtags above! It sounds fun, right?