To mark International Women’s Day, one of Great Britain’s stand-out performers from last week’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships is urging women across the country to take inspiration from the success of the nation’s elite cyclists.
At just 19 years old, Emily Nelson secured a fantastic fifth position in the points race at her maiden world championships, adding to the success of her female counterparts Laura Trott, who won gold in the omnium and scratch race; Becky James, who took bronze in the keirin; and the women’s team pursuit quartet of Trott, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Ciara Horne, who also claimed a bronze medal.
Trott’s double rainbow jersey win added to the achievements of Lizzie Armitstead and Rachel Atherton, both of whom have won the world title in their respective disciplines over the past twelve months.
Trott’s achievements were highlighted in Parliament yesterday by Lucy Powell MP, who said she wanted to ensure that the House recognised the “incredible” world champion.
Nelson said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many British female cyclists to look up to during the early part of my career.
“It’s a real privilege to compete for my country, and I hope that I can be a similar inspiration for women across the country to either take up, or step up their cycling.”
Nelson is part of Team Breeze, British Cycling’s new team dedicated to giving female academy riders increased opportunities to race and develop. The team is one of a number of initiatives put in place by the governing body to forge a clearer pathway for female cyclists to develop.
British Cycling’s Women’s Strategy aims to encourage one million more women to take up cycling by 2020, and there are a number of ways in which women of all ages can get involved:
- British Cycling’s Breeze –the world’s largest women’s cycling programme
- Sky Ride Local and Ride Social for getting into riding for fun at a time and level that suits you
- Go Ride Racing for young females to get into cycle sport
- Go Ride’s Rider Development Sessions for Women and Girls – female only coachign session in traffic free environments
- Our Events Calendar provides many non-competitive challenge rides for those who want to take their riding further
- Coaching courses to allow you to achieve your coaching goals at the level and in the discipline you want.
- Ride Leader and Mountain Bike Leader courses
- Cycle Training opportunities for increasing your confidence or learning how to teach others to ride a bike