Like basketball, baseball, and other popular sports, cycling is typically seen as a male-dominated world. In fact, the cycling community recalls how former UCI president Pat McQuaid himself stated that women pro-cyclists weren’t worth a minimum wage back in 2012. Fortunately, significant strides towards progress have been made since then. And starting this year, women bikers are set to receive a minimum of A$25,000. After all, the time and effort that they have devoted to the sport are just as invaluable as their male counterparts’.
As a woman biker, it isn’t enough to be skilled — you must also have the strength and grit to persevere against these odds. Indeed, the professional women bikers we know today are some of the best out there. Here are some popular names that have proven their worth and continue to inspire the next generation of women cyclists.
In an article written by Vox writer David Roberts, it is revealed that the concept of cycling is introduced to Dutch children as early as preschool. By age 10, many of them move on to take cycling classes and continuously hone their craft, and thus building a strong biking culture in the community. That being said, it isn’t surprising that one of the greatest bikers is from the Netherlands: Marianne Vos. She amazes the cycling world with her impressive list of accolades — from winning the World Road Race Champion three times, to conquering seven World Cyclo-cross Championships and collecting two Olympic Gold medals. At present, Vos uses her platform to help bridge the gender gap in cycling, and is a leading advocate for the expansion of the international women’s road-race calendar.
Did you know that Aussies are some of the best women bikers in the world? According to The Guardian, Australia has been well-represented on the podium at the World Championships for the last three years. Inarguably, one of the finest Australian female bikers is Lauren Reynolds. As previously shared on The Steadyrack, Reynolds is not only an Olympian, but she has also placed at the Australian Championships, the BMX Supercross, and the BMX World Championships. The Bunbury native is now based in San Diego, where she continues to train for the ever-exciting BMX competitions.
After winning the gold medal in the 2017 Tour of Flanders for Women in Belgium, Coryn Rivera became one of the top female bikers in the world. Now, she hopes to inspire more Filipinos to take up the sport. It should be great news for Rivera that cycling is becoming increasingly popular in her home country, with many training opportunities now accessible for newbies and long-time cyclists alike. Because of the country’s scorching tropical climate, bikers have even taken to indoor cycling to strengthen their physique. As such, lifestyle writer Jane Adamson cites the rise of spin classes in Manila as a testament to the newfound appreciation for this sport. While some may argue over its differences, spinning classes help cyclists work on their balance, coordination, and exercise other body parts they may not usually get to. True enough, Rivera cites cross-training as an important part of her workout regimen, so she can maintain a holistic approach to fitness. This goes to show how important it is to continuously challenge one’s self even off the road bike.
Touted as one of the best ultra-endurance bikers, Lael Wilcox is truly making a name for herself in the cycling world. An article on Bicycling highlights how the American athlete won the 4,200-mile (6760 km) Trans Am race in 2016 — beating both her male and female competitors. But her achievements don’t stop there, as Wilcox also broke the men’s record for the fastest known time on the Baja Divide route in 2017, and was also the second woman to finish the Navad 1000 bikepacking race in Switzerland. At present, Wilcox aims to build the future generation of female bikers in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska with her program called GRIT, or Girls Riding Into Tomorrow.
Penned by Marianne Powell
Article exclusively for steadyrack.com