Race page on British Cycling's site which left female riders 'exasperated and disappointed' amended as governing body seeks venue for National Masters race

British Cycling did not write the race page, and are still looking for host venue and organiser for 2022 National Women’s Masters Circuit Race Championships

Women cycling
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The event page for the National Men's Masters Circuit Race Championship on British Cycling's website has been changed after Cycling Weekly brought criticisms to the governing body's attention. 

The men's event is being held separately from the women's event this year due to circumstances around the venue, and British Cycling are working on organising the women's event.

The men's event page had been updated with a message, not written by British Cycling, titled "FOR THE ATTENTION OF WOMEN", which read: "In view of the number of you who have made contact, let me be clear - I am not organising this year's Women's Masters Championship. Nor do I know who is.

"It does give one of you the opportunity to do so. We are constrained by the fact that the Hillingdon Slipstreamers have permanent access until 1230pm. It also a very long 2 day program, with 8 separate races (excluding Women)."

Helen Bridgman, a cycling coach who also works for women's continental team CAMS-Racing, said she was not alone in feeling "exasperated and disappointed" by the tone of that message.

"I was both exasperated and disappointed when I read the original message, and I wasn't alone in that," she explained to Cycling Weekly "We've made great strides forward in women's cycling recently and it's important to keep that momentum going. With larger fields and really strong young riders coming through it's an exciting time for women's racing. 

"There are few opportunities for us female vets to even out the playing field a little and race against other women in our own age categories. I really hope an organiser will come forward to put the race on and give women the race they rightfully deserve."

The page has now been updated to read: "Please note: this event is the National Masters Circuit Race Championships for Men. British Cycling are actively looking for a promoter to host the National Masters Circuit Race Championships for Women and any further enquiries can be directed to events@britishcycling.org.uk."

A spokesperson for British Cycling said on Tuesday: “We are currently working hard to identify a host venue and organiser for the 2022 National Women’s Masters Circuit Race Championships, and will announce further details as soon as we are able.

“We’d encourage anybody who is interested in supporting the event to get in contact with our team at events@britishcycling.org.uk for more information.”

The men's and women's masters circuit championships have been held together in the past, and Cycling Weekly understands that this would be British Cycling's preference. However, circumstances have meant that this year that outcome was not possible, and the organisation is working proactively to organise the women's event.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.