Women’s road and circuit racing is on the up with female British Cycling licence holders having increased by 23% in the last year.
Increasing both female participation and the number of competitive events available to women are key features of British Cycling’s strategy to get one million more women cycling by 2020.
Figures highlighted today show that there has been a 44% increase in the number of women-only road races and a 66% increase in the number of circuit races between 2012 and 2013. These increases reflect the growing demand for race licences as women’s cycling continues to grow in all regions.
Hannah Barnes won the 2013 British Cycling Women's Road Series
The staging of high-profile international events such as the upcoming Women’s Tour is expected to further inspire British women to get on their bikes and enter competitive events.
Reflecting on the figures, British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership, Jonny Clay, said: “We are delighted to see plans put in place last March are already having a tangible impact in increasing the number of events available to women, and the number participants eager to take part.
“Women’s cycling is a clear area for growth in this country and we’re very optimistic that our plans for further strengthening the domestic scene, alongside inspiration through attracting and developing a major international event such as the Women’s Tour, can further impact this trend.”
Keen to maintain and build on these successes, British Cycling regional events officers and Go-Ride coaches have adopted a co-ordinated approach in 2014, delivering women specific rider development sessions linked to racing opportunities.
The result is an opportunity for development via structured coaching sessions, which build confidence and skills before going into race scenarios.
Providing quality racing opportunities at a regional level is an essential part of the rider development process and a key building block for riders who may have aspirations to move on to national level racing in the British Cycling Women’s Road Series Women’s Team Series or other national events.
Details of the rider development sessions.
Here are some highlights of what is happening in the regions:
Coaching and Go race sessions have been running successfully at Odd Down circuit in Bath through the Winter, the next session is on 9 February. Looking ahead there are further races at Odd Down before a 15 race series kicks off at Castle Coombe in March. More information.
CycloPark at Gravesend have been hosting some coaching sessions through the winter – the final one is running on 5 February. Later in February there are two beginners events both at Cyclopark and then a variety of events across the region. More information.
The season kicks off with a four race series at Middlesborough Cycle Circuit with more races to follow as the year progresses. More information.
There are a diverse range of events on offer in the South West, from the well established Springtime Pursuits, starting on 15 February, through road stage races and a new closed circuit facility due to open in Paignton there is plenty on offer. More information.
Women-only rider development sessions start at York Sports Village on 18 February and run through until 30 March. More information.
The race calendar is still under development but keep checking for the current information.
Building on the back of a comprehensive block of rider development sessions, the racing calendar is looking great with series at Stourport, Sundorne and Victoria Park as well as one off races at other venues. More information.
Road racing in the region has received a welcome boost for 2014 with four new events on the calendar. Registration of circuit events is far from complete at the time of writing so expect plenty of opportunities at Hog Hill, Suffolk Showground and the Olympic VeloPark. More information.
With a host of opportunities on closed circuits and road races, during evenings and weekends it looks like being a bumper year for the North West in 2014. Circuit events at Tameside and Salt Ayre and seven road races delivered by CDNW. More information.
A great mix of road and circuit events are planned in 2014. The long-running Imperial Winter Series is already underway at Hilingdon circuit, there is also a Summer series at Hillingdon and a good choice of road events including the well-established Bedford 3-Day which comes with a single day option for 3rd and 4th category riders. More information.
The majority of the action will be circuit racing at Darley Moor, Mallory and the Lincolnshire PedalPushers series with event registrations still in progress but races confirmed. Other opportunities include Thoresby and new road races include a 2 day and kermesse style races in the pipeline. More information.
Scotland had a full programme of racing in 2013 which will look even stronger in 2014 with the addition of further women’s only series. With some details yet to be finalised, event registrations are ongoing. The latest details can be found here. More information.
The early season is well stocked with races throughout February, March and April at Llandrow Motor Circuit and Marsh Tracks, Clywd. Further dates will be added later so keep checking back. More information.