Today I entered my first cycling race.
On Dec 28th I will be joining a line-up of female Cat 4 and novice racers at one of the Imperial Winter Series races held at London’s famous Hillingdon circuit. That’s proper fast bike racing with minimal hills (unfortunately the one bit of cycling I am any good at). I am absolutely terrified.
But, I’m doing it anyway.
In the UK we have some of the best female cyclists in the world. Lizzie Armistead, Hannah Barnes, Dani King, Jo Roswell, Laura Trott, Sarah Storey, Helen Wyman (winner of the European Cyclocross Championships) to name but a few.
The Women’s Tour is an elite international stage race to be held in Britian in May 2014 that will attract the greatest female riders from around the globe. Despite this huge opportunity, of 300 major brands approached by the organisers to provide sponsorship so far not a single one has agreed to sponsor the event**
Companies argue that there is just not enough interest in women’s sport. Supporting women’s cycling is simply too big a risk with not enough ROI.
So I am entering a cycling race, because as Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘You should do one thing every day that scares you’.
Maybe if those 300 companies did one thing a day that scared them we wouldn’t have to worry about securing sponsorship for elite female bike races again.