This week’s edition of weekly cycling magazine celebrates women in cycling. Highlights include an exclusive interview with Annemiek van Vleuten, an overview of the current state of saddle technology by ultra-endurance rider Emily Chappell, and a ‘how to’ on using steroids – our hormones – to maximize performance.
To produce this magazine, C.W. Technical Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan has taken over as editorial chair for the week, here’s her introduction to the special issue – and more on what you can expect to see online.
I’ve worked in cycling media for a decade, but these 200 words seem to be the hardest I’ve had to write. Maybe it’s because conversations around women’s cycling so often become politically charged.
Some subjects are easy. “Is it predictable, or boring, to focus our ‘women’s specific’ fitness feature on menstrual cycles and menopause?” No: these are fundamentally important topics, which we have stubbornly ignored for decades.
“How can the industry encourage more women to ride bikes? This is a question that I have often been asked and which is much more difficult to answer; women who ride bikes are not a homogenous group, but a diverse community of cyclists. Fortunately, our sport is beginning to reflect this
In 2021, the women’s peloton experienced its first Paris Roubaix. This year, the Tour de France Women is strengthening the calendar; newer disciplines such as esports and gravel are moving closer to equality – both in terms of elite prize money and wider participation.
Change does not come without challenge. And what better way to challenge and celebrate than to take over the pages of the UK’s oldest cycling magazine. Not just because it’s International Women’s Day on March 8, but because the depth of talent, experience, and story is as deep as we can get.
What’s happening online?
This special issue of weekly cycling magazine goes on sale from Thursday March 10, but we’ll post a selection of items online – here’s what you can expect:
tuesday march 8
Is “women-specific geometry” a myth?
Every time one mainstream brand decides to steer clear of female-specific bike design, another comes out in favor. How can female cyclists manage these conflicting opinions to come away with a bike that suits them?
A woman among men: The incredible story of Alfonsina Strada
Alfonsina Strada made headlines when she competed in the 1924 edition of the Giro d’Italia, as “Alfonsin”, and the story of her courage and determination to finish against all odds still lives on. topical.
Wednesday, March 9,
Annemiek van Vleuten: “I’m still improving” (magazine exclusive, online preview)
Annemiek Van Vleuten has done almost everything there is to do in cycling, but this summer she’s aiming for one that hasn’t been done in over 20 years: the Giro-Tour double. Adam Becket finds out what keeps her coming back longer at 39, why training with male teammates is integral to her improvement and if she really is ‘an alien’
New British Wave: Captain Britain – Pfeiffer Georgi’s Breakthrough Season
The new national champion Pfeiffer Georgi is still only 21 years old. In the first of a series of interviews with the emerging golden generation of British women, she speaks to Owen Rogers about her breakthrough year
Thursday March 10
Nature’s Steroids: Harness Your Hormones to Unleash Your Potential
No, testosterone won’t give you any more superpowers than having your period negates your racing prospects. Michelle Arthurs-Brennan debunks sex hormone myths
Long read: The story of ‘Madame Gray’, who transformed women’s cycling
On the occasion of the centenary of her birth, Giles Belbin looks back on the career of the talented administrator whose dynamism and tenacity allowed her to shape the sport into what it is today and to become the godmother of the female cycling.
Usma Chaudry: “If I can do it, anyone can do it!”
Devout Muslim and mother of seven, Usma Chaudry tells CW how she refuses to let cultural expectations get in the way of her passion for long-distance cycling
Friday March 11
The science of sitting comfortably (magazine exclusive, online preview)
The women we know have been pushed away due to saddle discomfort are just the tip of the iceberg, many suffer in silence and quickly give up the sport. Emily Chappell, the first female cyclist to return home to the 2016 Transcontinental, explores what the cycling industry is – and could be – doing to get women riding comfortably.
Anna Henderson: From track to peloton
National time trial champion Anna Henderson talks budget bikes, team dynamics and ski school with Owen Rogers
Saturday March 12
Doing it right: cycling clubs increase the number of female members (magazine exclusive, online preview)
Many clubs say they want to increase their female squad, but some are having much more success than others. Amy Sedghi finds out how these clubs are doing so well
New British Wave: Rainbow Warrior Launch – Evie Richards
Off-road enthusiast Evie Richards no longer needs to chase rainbows. Rainbows come to her…
Sunday March 13
Beryl Burton: meet the British legend
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Beryl Burton dominated British women’s racing. In a 2009 ‘British Legends’ feature, Cycling Weekly looks back on his prolific career
Our special number is on sale from Thursday 10 March in newsstands and supermarkets and online. If you want more content like this, you can subscribe, save on cover price and have it delivered every Thursday.