From the winner of the Tour de France Femmes to a plethora of community activists, one hundred of the most influential women in the sport of cycling have been named in Cycling UK's annual 100 Women in Cycling list.
The list celebrates women who inspire others to cycling, from those at the top of the sport to those who are just trying to get ordinary people on bikes. There are cycling instructors, academics researching inequality in sport, and people trying to bring more inclusivity and diversity into the world of bikes. There are also influencers, people within the cycling industry, and a range of sporting heroes.
One of those who made the list, alongside Demi Vollering, is Dr Fiona Spotswood, an academic in the School of Management at the Univeristy of Bristol, who is researching inequality in mountain biking.
"My roles in cycling vary - I lead a kids’ mountain bike club, I lead groups of women mountain bikers, and I use my research at the University of Bristol to underpin work with public organisations all committed to helping transform mountain biking," she said. "Collectively we’re working to continue transforming mountain biking so it is a place where women and girls feel they belong and can thrive.
“It’s been fantastic to be nominated and to learn about all the other women working in incredible ways to foster change in cycling. I feel very proud.”
There is Christine Fisher, an accessible cycling advocate in Cumbria, who leads an inclusive cycling programme for differently abled children and adults. "My work with Wheels for All has opened up a whole new world of helping to remove the barriers that can prevent others from accessing cycling," she said.
Bianca Fernandez, the chair of the Women of Colour Cycling Collective, is also on the list. She said: "I’m passionate about bringing more women into the sport. I want to support women the same way I've been supported and provide that safe and inclusive cycling environment that women so often need.”
There is also Iffat Tejani, an activist and founder of the Evolve Cycling Network, a cycling club for Muslim women in London. "Diversity and inclusion in cycling is my passion and I believe it starts with working with communities for look for solutions with barriers we face," she said.
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, spoke of her desire to reverse the trend of less women cycling than men, and that by sharing stories of women in cycling, she hopes to encourage others to take up two wheels.
“Cycling is a fantastic way to get around sustainably, keep fit and have fun outdoors and we want everyone to benefit from the joy of cycling," she said in a press release. "But in the UK, substantially fewer women ride than men. It’s our mission to reverse that and see equal levels of cycling across all genders.
“A great way to encourage more women to cycle is to share the stories of these amazing women – whether they’re chronicling their adventures on social media, advocating for better infrastructure in their neighbourhoods, inspiring their communities to join them for a ride or winning medals around the world.
“Choosing the top one hundred winners involves some really tough choices – there are so many brilliant women out there who we’d want to celebrate.”
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