Female cyclists hope to inspire more women to get on their bikes

Val French, Breeze area co-ordinator for East and North Yorkshire.
Val French, Breeze area co-ordinator for East and North Yorkshire.

An intrepid group of female cyclists are hoping to inspire more women to hop on their bikes by taking on a stage of the new Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.

British Cycling Breeze ‘champions’ from across East and North Yorkshire are saddling up to pedal the second stage of the race, which is 108 miles, and starts at Selby Abbey before taking in much of The Wolds. It will pass through Bubwith, Harlthorpe, Foggathorpe, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Market Weighton, Sancton and North Newbald and then on to Beverley. Stage two will also see cyclists travel through Stamford Bridge before finishing in York.

Breeze is an initiative run by British Cycling to get more women back on their bikes to address the imbalance of men to women cycling and has proved to be a huge success right across the country.

The Breeze champions will cycle the Selby to York leg of The Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday (14 March) in the form of a relay.

Selby champion Tracey Smith and other cyclists will start the relay off from Selby Abbey, carrying a small Yorkshire flag and cycle to Market Weighton where champions Val French, Deborah Nott and Helen Hunt, will then take the flag up onto the Wolds via High Hunsley into Beverley and out to the Wolds village tea room at Bainton roundabout. Here Driffield’s ‘Four Seasons Champions’, Julie Turner and Emma Barnes, will take the lead and head over the Wolds to Malton where York Champion Ruth Raven accompanied by a few other champions will take the flag to the finish in York.

Breeze area co-ordinator for East and North Yorkshire, Val French, of Barmby Moor, who is co-ordinating the event, said: “It started as a tongue in cheek idea but the more we discussed it we realised it would be not only a challenge and good fun but a good way of encouraging more women to get on their bikes. All the girls are really up for it and getting quite excited. This is a historic occasion for the area and we are proud to be part of it.”