Unable to ride the Tour de France route this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global women’s cycling team completed the relay part of the challenge from their homes on static bikes. This was an epic challenge as the distance the riders cycled represented the total distance and elevation that the professional peloton covered over 21 stages at this year’s Tour de France.
The riders first completed a 4-day non-stop team relay of 3,470km – starting at the same time as the Tour did on Saturday, August 29. They had an epic challenge of ‘Everesting’ 8,848 metres on The Bwlch in a single day on Friday, September 4.
The InternationElles are an international group of ten amateur women cyclists who gathered this year to highlight gender inequality within cycling. The ten riders – spread across the UK, Netherlands, USA and Australia, tackled this by riding the gruelling Tour de France distance.
The 10 key points of inequality the riders are seeking to highlight and want to make the sport’s stakeholders address are:
Many female team riders still need to hold down jobs to pay their way. Minimum wage and paid maternity leave to be introduced as first measure.
There are many fewer women’s team, the teams are smaller, so there are far fewer opportunities.
Both at a professional and amateur level. Every men’s pro race should have a women’s equivalent, starting with the Tour de France.
There appears to be a misconception about what women riders are capable of.
More televised races, plus coverage within cycling media.
More women in positions of power.
Greater visibility of how to get started.
Being told by teams to look pretty & body shaming.
e.g. bikes being sold with male saddles as standard.
Images supplied by Attacus Cycling.