Road To 2012: Annie Last to host women’s skills masterclass at Lee Quarry
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Annie Last to host women’s skills masterclass at Lee Quarry

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British Cycling Olympic Academy athlete Annie Last will host the first in a series of free skills masterclasses designed to encourage women into mountain biking this weekend at Lee Quarry.

Devised by Annie in conjunction with Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, the aim of the sessions are to provide an opportunity for women of all abilities to get together and learn how to improve their technical skills, be that basic balance and coordination or an introduction to something more challenging.

Annie is passionate about her sport and has ambition to inspire more women to ride mountain bikes and give them the confidence to take to the great outdoors with their family or friends; an environment where they can experience the sense of achievement, the traffic free riding and the health and fitness benefits that come with her sport.

The masterclass is free and will include learning how to set up a bike with Annie’s mechanic. It's aimed at mums who want to develop the confidence to take the kids for a ride, those who ride a bike and want to venture off road for the first time, or keen bike riders who want to learn how to continue to improve.

Ten women have already been selected for the first masterclass before Annie jets off to South Africa for the opening round of the UCI World Cup; but additional skills classes will be held later in the year – something Annie is already looking forward to.

“I had the idea of running the skills masterclass while riding at Lee Quarry and I'd like to see more women take to cycling, in particular mountain biking. Putting something back into my sport by hosting the masterclass is something I am really passionate about continuing to do.

"I hope the sessions will provide fellow female riders with the skills to get more out of their riding. In particular I like the idea of mums being able to feel more confident to go to parks or trail centres with the kids and enjoy traffic free riding, and post ride tea and cake!

“Of course, this could not happen without the support of Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council; they have created a great training venue at Lee Quarry that has helped me improve as a rider and I am really pleased I am able to hold the first of these events here.”