This week's edition of Cycling Weekly magazine celebrates the women of cycling. Highlights include an exclusive interview with Annemiek van Vleuten, a look at the current state of saddle tech by ultra-endurance rider Emily Chappell, plus a 'how to' on using nature's steroids - our hormones - to maximise performance.
To produce this magazine, CW's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan took over the Editor's chair for the week, here's her introduction to the special issue - and more on what you can expect to see online.
I've worked in cycling media for a decade, but these 200 words feel like the most difficult I've had to write. Perhaps it’s because conversations around women's cycling so often become politically charged.
Some topics are easy. “Is it predictable, or boring, to focus our ‘Women’s Special’ fitness feature on menstrual cycles and the menopause?" No: these are fundamentally important topics, which we’ve been steadfastly ignoring for decades.
"How can the industry encourage more women to ride?” is a question I’ve been asked many times, and it’s much harder to answer; women who cycle aren't one homogenous group, but a diverse community of riders. Thankfully, our sport is beginning to reflect that
In 2021 the women's peloton enjoyed its first Paris Roubaix. This year the Tour de France Femmes bolsters the calendar; newer disciplines such as eSports and gravel edge closer to equality - both in terms of elite prize money and wider participation.
Change doesn't come without challenge. And what better way to challenge, and celebrate, than to take over the pages of the UK’s oldest cycling magazine. Not just because it's International Women's Day on March 8, but because the depth of talent, experiences and stories are such that we can.
What's coming online?
This special issue of Cycling Weekly magazine is on sale from Thursday, March 10, but we'll publish a selection of articles online - here's what you can expect:
Tuesday, March 8
Is 'women's specific geometry' a myth?
Every time one mainstream brand decides to eschew women's specific bike design, another comes out in favour. How can female riders navigate these conflicting opinions to ride away with a bike that fits?
One woman among men: The incredible story of Alfonsina Strada
Alfonsina Strada made headlines when she entered the 1924 edition of the Giro d’Italia, under the name 'Alfonsin', and the story of her grit and determination to finish against all odds lives on today
Wednesday, March 9,
Annemiek van Vleuten: "I'm still improving" (magazine exclusive, previewed online)
Annemiek Van Vleuten has achieved nearly everything there is to achieve in cycling but this summer she’s eyeing one that hasn't been done for over 20 years - the Giro-Tour double. Adam Becket finds out what keeps her coming back for more at 39, why training with male teammates is integral to her improvement and whether she really is "an alien"
British New Wave: Captain Britain - Pfeiffer Georgi's breakthrough season
New national champion Pfeiffer Georgi is still only 21. In the first of a series of interviews with Britain’s emerging golden generation of women, she speaks to Owen Rogers about her breakthrough year
Thursday, March 10
Nature's Steroids: Harness your hormones to unleash your potential
No, testosterone won’t give you superpowers any more than being on your period writes off your race prospects. Michelle Arthurs-Brennan debunks the myths around sex hormones
Long read: The story of 'Madame Gray', who transformed women's cycling
In celebration of the centenary of her birth, Giles Belbin looks back on the career of the gifted administrator whose drive and tenacity enabled her to shape the sport into what it is today and become the godmother of women’s cycling
Usma Chaudry: "If I can do it, anyone can!"
Devout Muslim and mother of seven Usma Chaudry tells CW how she refuses to let cultural expectations hold back her passion for long-distance cycling
Friday, March 11
The science of sitting comfortably (magazine exclusive, previewed online)
The women we know have been put off cycling by saddle discomfort are the tip of the iceberg, many suffer in silence and promptly exit the sport. First female rider home at the 2016 Transcontinental, Emily Chappell, explores what the cycling industry is - and could be - doing to get women riding comfortably.
Anna Henderson: From piste to peloton
National time trial champion Anna Henderson talks budget bikes, team dynamics and ski school with Owen Rogers
Saturday, March 12
Getting it right: Cycling clubs growing female membership (magazine exclusive, previewed online)
Many clubs say they want to expand their female membership, but some have far greater success than others. Amy Sedghi finds out how these clubs get it so right
British New Wave: Launch of the rainbow warrior - Evie Richards
Off-road aficionado Evie Richards no longer needs to chase rainbows. The rainbows come to her...
Sunday, March 13
Beryl Burton: Meet the British Legend
From the 50s to the 80s, Beryl Burton dominated British women’s racing. In a 2009 'British Legends' feature, Cycling Weekly looked back at her prolific career
Our Special Issue is on sale from Thursday, March 10 in newsagents and supermarkets and online. If you want more content like this you can subscribe, save on the cover price and get it delivered every Thursday.
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