The Women's Cycling Awards 2020 candidates
Women’s Cycling Writer of the Year
Emily Chappel is a freelance writer and speaker, as well as an occasional bike guide. In 2016, she was the fastest female to cycle the Transcontinental Race, from Belgium to Greece. Emily is one of the founders of the Adventure Syndicate group that encourages women to take on challenging rides. In Where There's a Will, her second book that was published in 2019, Emily Chappel unearths her ultra-distance skills in a journey that takes us beyond the scenery or practicalities of cycling across a continent, to the depths of human will, spirit and connection.
Hannah Dobson is a writer for Singletrack magazine. She talks and writes about the social, political and environmental aspects of cycling such as some of the wider issues around the cycling industry, women's sport, equality and the general power and joy of bikes.
Jools Walker is a blogger, TV presenter and author. Her first book, Back in the Frame, was published by Little, Brown Book Group in May 2019. In October last year Back in the Frame was ranked No.5 in Book Authority’s “100 Best Cycling Books of All Time” awards list. As a blogger, Jools also goes under the name VéloCityGirl with a focus on different aspects of cycling, including cycle-style, adventures on two wheels, and how to widen participation. Instagram recognised her as one of the most influential female storytellers in their #MyStoryUK campaign.
Laura Laker is a journalist and writer specialising in cycling and urban transport. Writing for the Guardian, Road.cc, and BikeBiz amongst others, and working as a presenter promoting cycling, particularly to encourage more people to take it up as a form of transport. As well as being published multiple times, 2019 saw Laura co-host a series of podcasts with fellow cycling journalist Carlton Reid, from Velo-city, the annual international cycling conference.
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan was announced as the first female tech editor in Cycling Weekly’s 129-year history in 2019. Previously content and social media specialist at Evans Cycles before editing Total Women’s Cycling and joining Cycling Weekly as SEO Analyst in 2017, Arthurs-Brennan has had what the publisher describes as a transformative impact on the organisation. As tech editor she now head up the title’s product news and reviews across its print and digital platforms.
Women’s Cycling Event of the Year
HopeTech Women's Enduro rides
The Hopetech Women rides aim to create an environment where women can feel comfortable riding. By riding in a group they hope women can become more confident and consequently grow in skill and ability. Women from all backgrounds and abilities are welcome. The rides are mostly off-road, guided and have a series of levels to appeal to a wide range of ability and confidence and take place throughout the UK.
London Women's Racing
London Women's Racing is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to promote high-quality, well-attended races in London. They provide crit/road race and time trial leagues for women of all levels to race in. Whether you want to compete in your first race, hone your skills or chase the overall title, they welcome all. They are recognised for their willingness to help women improve and have a forum and sounding board for women who are passionate about improving women’s racing in the region.
The Women's Tour
The Women's Tour is Britain's most prestigious women's cycling race, part of the elite women's World Tour and attracting the top female professionals from around the World. Lizzie Deignan became the first rider to win two OVO Energy Women’s Tour titles as she sealed the crown at Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire in 2019.
Women of colour cycling meetups
A monthly gathering for women of colour who enjoy cycling. After numerous discussions, Jools Walker (aka Lady Velo/Velo-city Girl) and Jenni Gwiazdowski (director at London Bike Kitchen) decided to set up regular meetups at cycle cafe Look Mum No Hands to help increase visibility and camaraderie. This group is for any woman of colour that rides a bike or is thinking about riding a bike - from roadies, to leisure riders to newbies. It doesn't matter what gear or bike you have, or what kind of riding you do - it's a space for you. They welcome all self-defining women of colour including trans women and non-binary people, and women from multi-ethnic backgrounds.
Women's Festival of Cycling Parliamentary Bike Ride
The 2019 Women’s Festival opening event brought together politicians, practitioners, peers from the cycling industry, health and transport agencies to share, enthuse and get behind the movement to encourage more women to cycle. Over 150 women took part in the bike ride through London, riding on parliament to launch the start of the Women's Festival of Cycling. The event also celebrated inspirational women who are role models in cycling and their great achievements by announcing the third annual ‘100 Women in Cycling’ list.
Women’s Cycling Team of the Year
Canyon-SRAM are a professional women's cycling team that competes in elite women's road bicycle racing events, such as the UCI Women's World Tour. With self-declared desire to advance women’s cycling, inspire to ride, and challenge convention Canyon have been notable in their efforts to promote women's cycling. As well as more traditional talent identification pathways, Canyon-SRAM also partner with online training platform Zwift to offer a professional contract to the top rider who participates in an annual competition. 2019 saw 9,000 everyday women take part with the prize of a life changing opportunity to sign for a professional cycling team.
Drops is a UCI Women's Cycling Team racing globally. Debuting on the world stage in 2016, Drops founding ethos remains to create a happy and supportive environment where riders can develop and reach their true potential, irrespective of age, experience or status. Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most successful development programmes of the past three years, despite struggling for sponsorship in 2019. They were the only British registered team that competed in the 2019 Women's Tour with a roster that featured Olympic champion Elinor Barker and European Championships medallist Manon Lloyd.
GB Women's Team Pursuit squad
The Great British Women's Team Pursuit squad have had a stand out 2019 as they prepare for the biggest stage at the Toyko Olympics in 2020. Winning European Championship Gold as well as being World Championship silver medallists in 2019, the squad has built impressive strength as they build towards this summer.
Mitchelton–Scott is a women's professional cycling team based in Australia, competing in the UCI Women's World Tour and other elite women's events throughout the world. Riders include World Road Race champion Annemiek van Vleuten, Amanda Spratt and young British rider Jess Roberts.
Storey Racing, founded by Dame Sarah Storey and husband Barney Storey is a British development team set up with the goal of developing young riders, as well as competing at an elite level. As 12 rider team for 2019, with riders from Youth A age to Senior and 3 para cyclists, the riders in the team raced road, track, time trials and cyclo-cross across the course of the year. The squad personifies the team's #BestVersionOfYou mentality which seeks to inspire everyone around them to be the best they can be.
Pro-Rider of the Year
Alice Barnes is a Great Britain and Canyon-SRAM rider who was both British Road Race and Time Trial champion in 2019. A multiple-time under-23 national road race champion, she also finished 16th in the World Championship time trial in Yorkshire in a stellar 2019 season.
Annemiek van Vleuten
Annemiek van Vleuten had a 2019 to remember, with a string of impressive results and even more impressive performances. The World Champion winning performance in Yorkshire has been described as one of the greatest rides of all time with a dramatic 104km solo breakaway. In addition to becoming World Champion, she achieved 3rd in the World's Time Trial, was the winner of the Giro-Rosa, Strada Bianche, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, not to mention adding the Dutch National time trial championship to her palmarès for the fourth time.
Charlotte Worthington is the first ever British woman to win a medal at the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Championships, claiming a bronze in 2019. With British and European titles already secured in 2019, Worthington is well placed to claim a place at Tokyo 2020 where BMX is introduced for the first time later this year.
Lizzie Deignan is an English professional world champion track and road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI Women's World Tour Team Trek–Segafredo. Previously the 2015 World road race champion and the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race champion, she returned to racing in 2019 to race after a break having a baby to win the Women's Tour of Britain and finish 7th in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. One of the most widely recognised and best loved British female cyclists.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is a French multi-discipline bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI Women's WorldTeam Canyon–SRAM. There aren't many athletes who can claim to be at the top of their chosen sport in three distinct disciplines but Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is one such athlete and is the only rider in history to hold world titles in cross-country, cyclocross and road racing at the same time. France's Ferrand-Prévot is now a two-time cross-country cycling world champion as 2019 saw her win world titles in cross-country and marathon cross-country mountain bike racing.
Women's Cycle Clothing Brand of the Year
Endura's wide range of women's cycling clothing is suited to various cycling disciplines, with each product ergonomically designed to provide superb comfort, fit and without compromising on style. Noted for having a broad range of women's clothing that covers entry level riders all the way up to highly technical clothing for competitive athletes, as well as multi-discipline cycling.
From 100% Australian Merino wool in classic women’s tops and accessories, to lightweight woven fabrics that are packable, water repellent and breathable, the stylish designs are perfect for any activity but particularly cycling. The brand stands out as they started as a female range of clothing before expanding due to demand into producing a men's range of products.
With bright designs that combine bike culture with pop culture that are not only highly technical and performance driven but also visually unique. They believe cycling should be about good times on two wheels and with a wide range of female clothing that comes recommended for it's looks as well as comfort.
Pearl Izumi offers a wide range of fantastic women's clothing for made especially for cycling. With more than 50 years of experience, they continue to be a trusted brand in the world of cycling clothing. They constantly bring new development in technical materials and make sure they offer the best possible performance in their women's clothes, emphasising quality every step of the way.
Stolen Goat was founded in 2012 to inspire people to find freedom through sport so that they can live happier, healthier lives. Stolen Goat have a wide range of female cycling, triathlon and casual wear clothing, coming highly recommended for the bright and unusual designs that stand out from numerous other brands.
Women's Bike Brand of the Year
Bobbin are an independent family-run bicycle brand based in East London. United with their customers through a shared love of aesthetics, freedom and fun, they design a range of bikes for everyday life. Whether you are aged 2 to 92, you'll find a two-wheeled companion in the Bobbin range. Having been launched in 2007 Bobbin are known as one of Britain's best-loved leisure bike brand with 60,000+ riders around the world being passionate advocates for their range of bicycles.
Canyon WMN is a range of bikes specifically designed for female riders who don’t feel comfortable on standard unisex bikes. There's a wide range of bikes that cover all disciplines of cycling, and additional recognition goes to Canyon for the sponsorship of top tier women's team Canyon-SRAM.
Committed to building bikes that work as well for women as they do for men and this means making sure that their bikes are available in a broad range of sizes, so that people at the shorter end of the height spectrum can take full advantage of them. It also means being able to customise component choices, so they fit the rider and not just the frame size.
In 1999 they created the first mountain bike aimed specifically at female riders. It was a ground-breaking shift in focus for the industry, driven by a ground-breaking woman - Juli Furtado - one of the fiercest mountain bikers of all time. Today, Juli’s initiative has grown into an award-winning line of premium mountain bikes ridden by a crew of athletes, racers and guides who continue to blaze new trails. Their self stated goal is to ignite the imagination of female adventurers around the world and create something uncompromising for those who refuse to accept the status quo.
Liv bikes are women's specific, and one of the most widely recognised and popular manufacturers of women's bikes. Designed using a global database of body metrics so they're optimised for the female physique, Liv is the sister company to Giant, the largest bike manufacturer in the world. Liv bikes are renowned for their quality and widely available, as well as having a range that caters for entry level riders as well as higher specced models.
Unsung Cycling Heroine
Beatrice Filippini was working as an intensive care nurse in London, when she decided to quit and pursue her dream of cycling in South America. Over 10 months she covered 7,150 miles (11,500 km) on her own. Starting from the northernmost tip of Colombia, reaching the point where the southernmost road in the world stops - Puerto Williams, Chile. All on the bike that accompanied her since her University days: a red 3-speed folding bike. A few days in, she was robbed of her backpack. With an already minimalist set up, she continued through the Andes, Amazonia, sand and salt deserts, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. While travelling she tried to reduce her environmental impact to almost zero by eating waste products from shops and supermarkets, and sleeping in a tent, while supporting the low cost trip by cooking and selling Empanadas in the squares wherever she stopped.
A German cancer researcher become the first woman to win one of the world’s toughest cycling races in her first ultra-distance event. Fiona Kolbinger, 24, from Dresden, won the Transcontinental which traverses 2,485 miles (4,000 km) from Burgas in Bulgaria to Brest in France. She took 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes.
A world-renowned ultra endurance athlete, in 2019 Lael Wilcox placed second and was the first woman to cross the finish at this year’s 1,050 mile (1,700 km) PEdALED Silk Road Mountain Race setting a new women’s record with an incredible time of 7 days, 15 hours, and 23 minutes. In June she also took part in the 350 mile Dirty Kanza Extra Large, perhaps the most demanding gravel bike race in the world, to secure first place in the women’s field. Having set the women’s record for the Tour Divide in 2015, she rode again in 2019 with the goal to win the overall race. While the bid failed in 2019, her attempt and subsequent film have done much to highlight the gender inequalities faces in cycling.
81-year-old Mavis Paterson has proved age is but a number after becoming the oldest woman to pedal from Land’s End to John o’Groats in 2019. Mavis, a grandmother from Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway, completed the 960-mile route in memory of her three children, who all passed away within four years of one another in their forties. Mavis set out on 30 May and completed the journey on 22 June, raising over £60,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process. Mavis has supported the charity since her mother and sister died from cancer. She describes the journey as being extremely therapeutic and decided to step up to the challenge to distract herself from the grief of losing her children.
As a qualified mechanic who worked on international race circuit, Vicky is a rare female working in a male-dominated industry. Starting out as a mechanic at Biketart and splitting her time between working at The Canterbury Bike Project teaching bike mechanics to women, families and young people with learning difficulties while also working as an event mechanic for Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle through 2019. Vicky rode the Megavalanche for the first time last year, and despite not taking part in qualifying still finished 47th in the Women's race. The event is a downhill mountain bike race held annually at the Alpe D'Huez ski resort in the French Alps since 1995. The mass-start race is known for its fast speeds and winding turns over varying terrain, with hundreds of riders descending the mountain at once.
Volunteer of the Year
Joy never learnt to ride a bike as a child, but five years ago at the age of 50 she took to two wheels with the help of the Big Bike Revival and has never looked back. She’s now supporting others to do the same as a ride leader. Joy is now a key figure in her local cycling community, helping to set up a new cycling group in Birmingham the Joyful Bellas and Fellas. Joy leads rides and inspires others to take up cycling.
Sajida Somani is one of the founding members of Balsall Heath Community Cycling Club, helping to take the club from a simple idea to a fully functioning community cycle club. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for people to improve their cycling confidence and is one of the most effective ways of encouraging more people to take part in club activities. As well as offering women-only led rides, Balsall Heath also works with local schools to deliver Bikeability sessions to give children the skills they need to get cycling safely. These are backed up with sessions for parents to help them support the new skills their children have gained.
Sarah Javaid founded and runs Cycle Sisters in Waltham Forest, North London after realising there was a need for a culturally-appropriate cycling group aimed at Muslim women. The committee were impressed by her dedication to providing regular cycling opportunities to a group currently very underrepresented in cycling.
Susan Nicholson's hard work and determination enables hundreds of children to receive free sessions and a meal as part of the 365 Programme at the Wishaw Community pump track. Susan works tirelessly to make these sessions a possibility, taking care of the administrative side of the project and helping many children and families to engage with other professional support services, which have allowed them to make positive changes to their lives.
As a 90 year old who volunteers at her local charity Live! Cheshire teaching people how to cycle. Sylvia Briercliffe has been a happy cyclist for more than 85 years, having learned to ride at the tender age of three. Throughout her teens, 20s, family life and even later years, she has regularly taken to the bike for health, fitness and socialising. However, the impact of Sylvia’s cycling has grown in her ninth decade as she has combined her love of riding with her support for local charity Live! Cheshire to great effect. “Live! Cheshire works with young people and adults who have disabilities and one of the projects they run is ‘Give it a Spin’, a project with adapted bikes for people with disabilities.
Influential Women of the Year
Iris Slappendel is a former pro cyclist who rode for diverse UCI women teams, such as Team Garmin Cervelo, Rabobank-Liv, Bigla Pro Cycling and United Health Care. The former Dutch national road champion and winner of multiple UCI races represented the female riders in the UCI Athletes’ Commission from 2015 till 2017 and now dedicates her time to The Cyclists’ Alliance, the labour organisation representing professional cyclists in UCI Women's World Tour. She is in charge of all organisational decision making, strategy and planning at the organisation.
Founder of Islabikes, a business woman and designer who has achieved a great deal by tuning an idea into a small company, that has inspired more of its kind. Since 2005 the company has been producing bikes for children, and an expanding range saw 2019 see the launch of a specific range of bikes aimed at those who are much older but not yet ready for an e-bike.
Lee Craigie’s influence is two-pronged – inspiring other women to step outside their comfort zone through her crazy adventures either solo or with the Adventure Syndicate, and providing tangible improvements to encourage more people to cycle in her role as Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland. The Adventure Syndicate was formed to promote the physical and emotional benefits of outdoor adventures and show that by working together, women can achieve more than they thought possible. Lee Craigie was a founding member and took part in their latest escapade, cycling from Edinburgh to Copenhagen by cargo bike to highlight the challenge we face in tackling the climate crisis. As Scotland’s Active Nation Commissioner, Lee is determined to make sure everyone can feel safe cycling for everyday journeys. Having competed as a professional mountain biker, she knows that riding a bike feels amazing and she wants to break down the barriers so that as many people as possible can experience it.
Dame Sarah Storey
Not only the most successful female British Paralympian of all time but now also championing cycling and walking as the Active Travel Commissioner for Sheffield City Region. Appointed to the role in 2019, she's not just an inspiration through her cycling performance for many people to take up cycling but is now taking a proactive role in promoting walking and cycling from a political role. This is in addition to training for the Toyko games in 2020, and as a positive advocate for para-cycling.
Shanaze Reade was announced as the first West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador in March 2019. In her new role Shanaze is responsible for helping promote and guide the development of cycling throughout the West Midlands with Transport for West Midlands providing a £17 million funding package for cycling, taking spending to £10 per head per year until 2022. She is a passionate advocate for widening access to cycling and has been heavily involved in the development of British Cycling’s ‘We Ride’ women’s strategy in recent years.
Cycling Club of the Year
Belles on Bikes
Belles on Bikes is a network of 12 inclusive women's cycling groups in Scotland that offer free rides for women of different backgrounds and abilities. The groups are run by volunteers who support other women to get cycling in a friendly and relaxed environment. Groups hold a variety of rides, from leisurely paced jaunts to longer routes heading further afield. Each group is run locally, but with the same ethos: to empower women, increase cycling confidence and a create social safe space. Belles volunteer leaders receive training in ride leading, first aid and basic bike maintenance.
Cycle Sisters is an Walthamstow based Muslim women cycle group set up after realising there was a need for a culturally-appropriate cycling group aimed at Muslim women. The committee were impressed providing regular cycling opportunities to a group currently very underrepresented in the activity. They meet for weekly social rides and also have monthly rides on Saturday mornings. As well as being fun and great exercise, the rides hope to build confidence of riding on the road by cycling as part of a group. They now have three groups in Walthamstow, Chingford and Redbridge and are planning to expand further with more groups.
Team Glow is a women's cycling group and network in Greater Manchester and the North West. Their aim is to bring women together and get out riding their bikes. Catering for women who are interested in cycling - everyday cyclists, mountain bikers, e-bikers, aspiring racers and happy tourers. They also take part in sportives and organise tours, as well as offering training for their members to enable them to be confident and lead rides. Their inclusive and open nature welcomes anyone who identifies as a woman, regardless of age, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status or nationality.
The Adventure Syndicate
The Adventure Syndicate are a not-for-profit organisation who use the inspiring stories of women adventuring by bike to encourage their audience to push their perceived limitations. They do this by being open and honest about their own limitations, vulnerabilities and failures and encouraging positive conversations between women around cycling. They are passionate collaborators and believe whole-heartedly in the strength and power to be found in mutually co-operative and considerate groups, using written word, talks, films, podcasts, informal ride outs, training camps and skills courses in order to not only inspire people but to practically encourage and enable them to take on their own challenges. In 2019 they ran a Match the Miles challenge, encouraging schools and workplaces to ride for charity, as well as the Resolution Race - a 620 mile (1000 km) continuous ride on cargo bikes from Edinburgh to Copenhagen to raise awareness for climate change.
The InternationElles cycle team brings together amateur female cyclists from around the world to take on one of the toughest cycle challenges on the planet and raise awareness for gender equality in cycling. In the summer of 2015 a unique event called Donnons des Elles au Velo J-1 was created where three French women rode one day ahead of the male pro peloton in the most famous bike race in the world, the Tour de France. Their aim was to raise awareness for gender equality in cycling and to campaign for women's tours to be held alongside the men's, currently the female equivalent is a one day race rather than a 3 week event. In 2019, the InternationElles team was formed to participate in the J-1 project and help spread the word wider about gender inequality in cycling. InternationElles is comprised of 10 riders and four crew from three continents, representing five countries and in 2019 they rode the Tour de France route, documenting their journey and raising awareness for gender equality in cycling.
Eleven year old Annabel's life was turned upside down when in February, her mother Clare, 45, was killed in a crash involving three cars, while out training on her bike in Speke, Liverpool. Just a few days after the crash that took her mother's life, Annabel bravely announced that she would be cycling to school. Annabel then went on to create a cycling awareness campaign called Be Aware For Clare, set up to help raise awareness of all road users to make our roads a safer place.
14 year old Eme rides with several ladies MTB groups and is a member of the Swinley Forest Development Team. She is a regular competitor in enduro events across the south of England, winning some races and regularly making the podium, even when racing against girls up to four years older than her. But perhaps most importantly, Eme is also using her own Instagram account to show other potential young female mountain bikers that it can be done – and it’s fun!
The UK athlete combines cross-country mountain biking and cyclo-cross with great success, riding for the popular Trek women's team. The 22-year-old British rider already has two under-23 cyclo-cross World Championships crowns to her name and last year, after coming back from surgery, the British rider clinched three podiums at under-23 level at the Mountain Bike World Cup series before taking victory in the final round at the Snowshoe resort in West Virginia in September. Last year also saw Evie come fourth in the U23 Mountain Bike World Championships in Canada and win the British U23 Mountain Bike title.
The 2018 British Road Race Champion impressed team bosses when she won the event aged just 19, despite most of her background being on the track. Roberts’ results in 2019 include a string of track achievements, having won the Madison at the 2019 European Games as well as the Omnium in the under 23 event. On the road she won stages four and five of the Tour de Bretagne, finishing fifth overall. This was enough to earn her a full time professional contract with Michelton-Scott for 2020-2021.
Ruby Isaac might only be 11 years old but she’s already having a big impact in the cycling world and beyond! Through the large audience of her YouTube and Instagram cycling videos, Ruby has reached huge numbers of viewers and has inspired countless people to take to their bikes. Her skills and tricks on rollers have resulted in international fame and last year she filmed with comedian Steve Harvey in Hollywood, as well as appearing on the US version of 'Little Big Shots' and being a junior reporter at the Tour of California. She is now a proud advocate for Trek-Segafredo and can add 'cycling fundraiser' to her palmarès, having completed the short route of the Santini Stelvio Gran Fondo and raising over £4,000 in the process.
Outstanding Achievement Award
This award will be chosen from the other eleven award winners by the judging panel once the public vote has closed.
It will be given to the award winner that the panel deems to have made the most outstanding contribution to women’s cycling within the last twelve months. They will consider the impact, the reach they have, the benefits it has had on women’s cycling and the ability of their achievement to inspire more females to cycle.