At the end of last year BikeBiz asked for your help to put together the BikeBiz Women in Cycling List for 2015, recognising women from the sport itself to all areas of the industry, plus advocacy bodies.
The list was put together in association with The London Bike Show and partnered with Total Women's Cycling.
Here are the BikeBiz Women of the Year 2015: Part two (in no particular order)...
Joanna Rowsell MBE,
Great Britain Cycling Team
Jo Rowsell is, of course, a World and Olympic gold medallist and rider for the Great Britain Cycling Team.
As a key member of the women’s team pursuit squad, Rowsell has picked up five world and Olympic gold medals in just six years, but in 2014 she also tasted individual success with gold at the World Championships. She is also a keen spokesperson for the benefits for cycling and, as a sufferer of Alopecia since she was ten years old, has spoken openly about the condition in interviews, using her profile to inspire others.
With British Cycling’s ever increasing profile, Jody Dew, head of marketing for the organisation, has been increasingly busy. Dew oversees British Cycling’s marketing activity with responsibility for growing the organisation’s audience, managing existing sponsor relationships and attracting new commercial investment to ensure the organisation is best-placed to maximise the sport’s increasing profile. British Cycling’s relationship with Sky is one such success story, with the broadcaster becoming synonymous with cycling since partnering the organisation in ‘09. It is a relationship that continues to prosper with increasing participation across all BC programmes.
Blogger and ITV presenter
Jools Walker is an East London blogger (at Velo-City-Girl) and head of operations at cycle apparel firm Vulpine. In between that Walker has been squeezing in a stint with ITV4 as a presenter of Cycle Show and making an appearance or two on Newsnight to discuss bike culture. Her blogs have a keen focus on styling and cycle chic culture, as well as some cycle event reportage. With a foot in blogging, media and on the front line of the industry through her work at Vulpine, Walker’s all-round reach surely classes her as a highly influential women in the cycle world.
Joolze Dymond runs her own photography business. Having spent over a decade in the cycling industry, Dymond is often seen hanging off a motorbike on the road scene or lying in a damp ditch – or indeed wherever and whatever it takes to get the perfect shot. Dymond prides herself on finding fresh and inventive ways to photograph cycle action.
British Cycling’s Breeze programme has a simple aim: to get more women into riding bikes for fun. It’s a huge project which has been running for a number of years, putting on individual events and initiatives across the nation. Septuagenarian Judy Robinson has led over 300 Breeze rides herself, proving that the old adage ‘age is no barrier’ is just as applicable to the world of cycling as anywhere else. Robinson is a founding member of the Breeze Network Bradford and was trained up in 2011.
Zyro is by no means a household name outside the cycle trade, but make no mistake, the Yorkshire business is one of the biggest in the industry. The seemingly ever-growing Zyro is one of the most successful distributors in the trade, bringing big brands like Giro and Cateye alongside smaller ones to retailers in the UK. Julie Ellison, alongside Simon, founded the company which has gone on to launch own-brands like Altura, which in turn sponsors grassroots events. If there’s a woman in a more senior position in the cyle trade than Ellison, then we have yet to hear of her.
Rider and Coven founder
Fuelled by a dissatisfaction with the lack of titles aimed at her demographic, Juliet Elliott founded Coven magazine, mixing sports, artists and photography, covering a range of sports. In addition to running the popular mag, Elliott also blogs at www.bikes-n-stuff.com with inspiring cycle stories. Elliott has also found time to campaign for equality in cycling on issues regarding pay and coverage and helped with the creation of womens categories in races. A former pro snowboarder, Elliott is now a sponsored cyclist too.
4X World Champion
Curd is best known for being the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike Fourcross World Champion. Mentored by former DH champ Tracy Moseley, the prolific Curd has also notched up three British 4X Champion titles, a 4X Pro Tour win, European 4X Champion title and multiple World Cup Podiums. In addition to inspiring through winning ways, Curd is also a qualified CTC mountain bike instructor, imparting skills and enthusiasm to countless riders. She’s been responsible for introducing riders to MTBing with beginner’s skills courses as well as honing the talents of advanced riders.
Kelli Salone launched Dame Cycling – a shop and community aimed squarely at women riders – in 2013 after a number of years in the trade working with established wholesalers and brands. Now Salone is working on turning Dame Cycling into a National cycling club for both road and MTB. She works tirelessly to get more women into all aspects of road and off-road cycling at grassroots level, organising many coaching events over the season. Her passion for the sport is infectious and she often convinced women to try different disciplines and get involved and have a go. Salone has an ever increasing number of Dame Members and a growing team of Dame riders and offers support and mentorship to young, upcoming girls including the very talented Aston Tutt.
Kellie Parsons is a key player at the UK’s largest cycle trade distributor, Madison. As marketing director there she has an obviously natural significance in terms of the UK industry, tirelessly promoting the company and brands. But Parsons puts a special personal emphasis on sport and youth development through the two teams Madison runs – Madison Saracen (World Champs DH) and Madison Genesis. Parsons has also played an intrumental role in setting up the likes of the womens cycling team Pearl Izumi Sportstours International. With 15 years trade experience, Parsons also set up Lazer’s sponsorship of British Cycling in the run up to Rio 2016.
Kirsty Ho Fat,
Kirsty Ho Fat is Velovixen’s communications manager, in charge of the female-focused shop’s social media output, blogging, marketing and customer interaction. Until it recently closed for financial reasons, she was also online editor of Women’s Cycling.
Before taking on these roles, she was hugely important as editor for taking Total Women’s Cycling from a start-up website to the largest women’s cycling website in the UK within just a year. She was first inspired to get into the women’s cycling sector when she rode 4,000 miles around the coast of the UK with her father in 2012.
Lara Dunn is an experienced freelance travel and outdoor journalist, with stints as Women’s Cycling editor under her belt as well as a contributor to the likes of Total Women’s Cycling, BikeRadar and National Geographic Traveller, among many others. Also a keen blogger, Dunn’s words on cycle events, fitness and many other cycle topics have helped make cycling ever more accessible to a wider audience.
From parodies of that women’s pro cycling pin-up calendar to running the London Bicycle film festival for seven years, Laura Fletcher has been fully immersed in the cycle world. With Cassette Media, Fletcher works with a variety of clients doing visual media, sponsorship activation and marketing. She’s worked for multiple top tier teams including Garmin-Sharp, Astana, and Trek Factory Racing. She’s also videographer at Cyclingnews.com, one of the world’s largest cycle sites, covering the likes of Wiggins and Froome as well as profiles of younger riders like Hannah Barnes. Hugely respected by the staff of teams and races, she’s seen as a role model working in the pro cycling media.
Laura Trott OBE,
Great Britain Cycling Team
Even if you have only a passing acquaintance with the world of cycling, there’s a very good chance you’ll have heard of Laura Trott. The profile of the World and Olympic gold medallist and rider for the Great Britain Cycling Team has rocketed, with a social media following of 250,000. Winning her first world title in 2011, Trott again won gold medals at the world championships in April and the Commonwealth Games in July and is sure to be one of the most high-profile British athletes as the countdown to Rio 2016 continues.
Lauren Jenkins is a freelance journalist specialising in mountain biking, working with a range of titles like Dirt Magazine, Total Women’s Cycling, Wideopen Magazine and Pinkbike, reaching a broad audience. Jenkins’ enthusiasm earned her much praise from our pundits. One of whom told us: “When I first started getting into MTB, women’s and men’s, Jenkins’ journalism really pulled me in – and I love her Twitter feed too. She’s got a great style, and she really communicates her passion. I don’t think I’d be such a big fan without her!”
Moore Large, Go BMX
Smith is not only product and brand manager at trade distributor Moore Large full time, but also chairperson at Derby BMX Club – which she launched in 2007 – and the co-founder and owner of Go BMX, providing girls-only BMX coaching sessions for all ages and abilities. Smith’s in-depth coaching knowledge has been funnelled into products and marketing in the cycle trade. The Derby BMX club now has 120 members of all ages. Go BMX campaigned for equal rights of BMX race winners to match the mens, British Cycling refused so Smith printed t-shirts and sold them to promote women in BMX with profits put towards the girls winnings.
Velocity founder, coach
Lee Craigie’s influence spreads far and wide as an international racer, coach, Cycletherapy Coordinator, Velocity Cafe and Bicycle Workshop founder and Champions in School representative. The talented mountain biker has represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at Euro and World Champs. She was the British XC Champion last year and has been the Scottish XC champion every time international races haven’t clashed with the national race for the last six years. With two organisations to encourage others at a grass roots level to cycle more, Craigie also runs Cycletherapy, engaging young people who have disengaged from education.
Jenkins is the cycling account director at Limelight Sports, responsible for managing and developing the agency’s cycle event portfolio, including developing new events to meet increased demand. She joined after working on the 2012 London Olympic Games where she was responsible for delivering the BMX events. With over 11 years working in sports event management, Jenkins’ experience also covers the UCI and British Cycling and at elite levels of racing involving MTB, BMX and track cycling events. Jenkins gets involved with all aspects of planning including for the UCI Track Cycling World Cups, MTB XCO World Cups (Dalby Forest) and many more.
Transport for London
At Transport for London, Lilli Matson is head of Delivery Planning, Surface Planning, heading up the team responsible for new cycling infastructure in the capital. While that’s clearly a huge role impacting on thousands (nay millions) of cyclists, it’s a job that also has an impact beyond London, with the capital increasingly seen as the leader and test bed for cycling in the UK. Matson has been with Tranport for London for just under a decade, a ten year period where cycling has reached its highest ever recorded numbers in London.
Liz Bingham is co-founder of Velovixen with spouse Phil. The couple cooked up Velovixen after a whopping 10,000km ride through the Americas in 2011. A year later and Velovixen launched as a hub for womens cycling, sourcing stock from like-minded firms who use female designers and recognise that women cyclists shop in a different way to men. The mission statement was, and remains, to get as many women onto bikes in as healthy, safe and stylish a way as possible. Velovixen personalises item descriptions and generally tailors the retail site for women, paving the way for a better retail experience for women that cycle.
Liz Clarke, MD and founder of bike training organisation Bike Right!, was recently honoured at the E3 Business Awards as Outstanding Women In Business. The company she set up, BikeRight!, now has over 100 employees delivering serices for and on behalf of cyclists all over the world. Clarke and BikeRight! both support Team Glow, touted as the largest growing women’s cycling network in the North West. Perhaps most significant of all, BikeRight! is a key provider of Bikeability cycle training, giving young and new riders the skills they need to be confident while riding.
Pro track and road racer
Yorkshirewoman Armistead won five medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Champs in ‘09 and ‘10 before switching disciplines to road racing. Armistead carried on her winning ways with a silver at London 2012 Olympics and then last year really hit a peak with a win at the UCI Women’s Road World Cup not long after bagging a gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 98km Women’s Road Race, (closely followed by Emma Pooley who took silver). Clearly an inspiration to riders female and male alike, Armistead is still only 26, with an exceedingly bright future ahead.
Leeds Cycling Campaign
Reather was inspired to join the world of cycle campaigning after finding her five mile commute kicked off with a not very encouraging choice of dangeous dual carriageway or bumpy field tracks. Now chair of Leeds Cycling Campaign, Reather is also CTC Councillor for Yorkshire and the Humber, and is on the board of Cyclenation. This tireless campaigner has been putting in appearances on local and national TV, preparing submissions to public inquiries and generally banging the drum for cycling wherever and whenever possible.
Double World Champion
Wales’ own Manon Carpenter pulled off the incredible feat of becoming double world champion last year, winning the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship as well as the UCI World Cup Mountain Bike Downhill Series. Riding for the Madison Saracen Downhill team, Carpenter has been raising the profile of women’s cycling on the trail and winning titles since 2011 (when she became Junior UCI Downhill World Champion). Still with plenty of years of racing ahead at the age of only 21, Carpenter’s acheivements in the saddle are already inspiring.
Volunteer, British Cycling
Sixteen-year-old Molly Pattison was named the first-ever young winner of a new volunteering award by Prime Minister, David Cameron, for the difference she has made to cycling in her community. Pattison first got involved with Tiverton BMX club a couple of years ago as a rider but took up volunteering through British Cycling’s Cycling Award for Young Volunteers. She now helps out with all aspects of the club and has started her own BMX team, securing funds from sponsors, team kit and an enthusiastic team of 20 riders.
Breeze Network Project Manager
We’ve gone into the British Cycling’s Breeze project elsewhere in these pages, but Natalie Justice was there at the start of the ground-breaking intiative. Tasked with getting more women in the saddle, Breeze was set up in 2011, using National Lottery funds to reduce the huge gap between the number of men and women cycling regularly. Breeze offers women rides at a multitude of locations around the country, installing Breeze champions to lead rides and support female riders. Anyone with an eye on the stats and the market will have seen a significant shift in catering to women in that period and Breeze’s role shouldn’t be underestimated in that.
Dennis’ arrival in the cycle magazine market has had Nicola Bates at its head. Publisher of multi award winning Cyclist Magazine and the freshly launched road cycling gear review magazine Bikes Etc, under Bates the two have made a big impression in the market. Cyclist, in just two years of trading, has grown to a base of subscribers well in excess of 10,000. So successful has the title been that Dennis had the confidence to make another magazine launch in the cycle sector, the aforementioned Bikes Etc. Where next for Bates and the Dennis cycling mag portfolio? It’s fair to say the trade and the rest of the media world are watching very closely indeed.
Nicole Cooke MBE,
Olympic Gold Medallist
Nicole Cooke retired in 2013, but her influence is undimmed, not least due to being outspoken on big topics in cycling that many of her standing side-step. The first rider to win the Olympic and World Champs road races in the same year, she’s won pretty much everything there is in the world. If you asked any of the UK pro road women racing right now, they’ll say Cooke is a huge influence – and with her blistering retirement statement on her website, and her book published this year, she’s done an incredible amount to push to make women’s cycling even better.
2013’s British cyclocross champion Nikki Harris is an elite rider. Derbyshire’s Harris has toughed it out this season, contending with a couple of injuries, but that didn’t stop her finishing third at the first cyclocross World Cup event staged in England last year, claiming bronze in Milton Keynes. Harris’ background includes multiple British championships across a variety of disciplines, including track cycling, road racing, mountain biking and of course cyclocross, where her ultimate aim is to become world cyclocross champion.
National Road Series Winner
Nikki Juniper is the National Road Series Winner. Last year also saw Juniper win the Elite Women’s Criterium category at the London Nocturne and the Women’s Ryedale Grand Prix, among other races.
One of our pundits said Juniper has “the guts to go-it-alone and still come out on top, she has taken the road scene by storm in the UK. She is just generally a lovely person and provides hope for us “older” athletes. You don’t have to be young to be a great athlete.”
Ninon Asuni has been a bike mechanic in the cycle trade for over 30 years. When Asuni started, she was one of a very very few women repairing and servicing bikes for a living, not unlike – it has to be said – now. Running Bicycle Workshop in West London, the self-taught mechanic carved out a niche and made it her own long before cycling in London became the trendy domain of MAMILS and the like. Asuni now runs Bicycle Workshop in Famous in bike mechanics’ circles, Asuni clearly deserves her spot on this list.
Since it launched in 2013, RideLondon has been a significant success story. The ‘London Marathon for bikes’ has scored live broadcast coverage from the BBC and closed off London to 15,000-plus cyclists for the day, accumulating column inches and putting cycling ever further into the public eye. Penny Dain is communications manager for Prudential RideLondon and is one of the major players behind the scenes, in overall charge of the communications involved. As one of our pundits put it: “Considering the amount of partners involved and the number of balls requiring juggling with the various events, I’m not sure how she sleeps from May to August!”
University of Westminster
Dr Rachel Aldred is senior lecturer in Transport at the University of Westminster. Gathering hard facts and data, Aldred has provided ammunition for cycle safety campaigners. Dr Aldred’s cycle research includes her Near Miss Project, aiming to record cyclists experiences on the road through ‘one day diaries’ with the potential to help everyday cycling in the UK. Gathering evidence and facts around cycling, safety and cities, Aldred is well placed to be part of the London Cycling Campaign, where she is an Elected Trustee and Chair of its Policy Forum.
Downhill MTB Racer
Rachel Atherton’s sporting accolades speak for themselves; numerous World Cup wins, double World Cup Champion and World Champion. But she has also pushed the profile of mountain biking into the mainstream, winning the BT Action Women of the Year award in 2013, getting mainstream media attention through participating in features and documentaries.
Atherton has also engaged women in the sport at a grass roots level through events like the Red Bull Fox Hunt, which took place in September of this year, and drew the largest number of female mountain bikers to an event in the UK yet seen.
Journalist and Presenter
If you’re watching cycling on the TV you’ve probably seen Rebecca Charlton, whether on Channel 4, ITV or BT Sport. There’s a good chance you’ve read her words too as at Time Inc Charlton is deputy editor of Cycling Active magazine and a regular contributor on titles including Cycling Weekly. The increasingly profilic Charlton is also an author as part of the trio working on titles like Get On Your Bike and Fitter, Further, Faster.
Charlton can also be found presenting at cycle shows including the Cycling Performance Theatre at this year’s London Bike Show.
Team manager, commentator
Rochelle Gilmore has followed up an outstanding cycling career on the bike with team management and commentary. The Commonwealth Games Medallist and three times World Cup Gold Medallist is running Wiggle Honda, the only pro women’s road cycling team in the UK. In addition, Gilmore provides commentary on races like the Worlds, Olympics and Commonwealths, for the BBC, Eurosport and ITV. Steeped in the world of cycling and breaking into former bastions of male dominance, Gilmore is an obvious choice for a list of women in the cycle world.
London Cycling Campaign
Rosie Downes is campaigns manager for the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). Clearly the LCC has vastly stepped up its campaigning game over the last few years, perhaps most notably the #spaceforcycling campaign which involved tailored campaigns for each London borough. As part of the LCC, Downes has been involved in holding Transport to London to account and calling out TfL board members standing in the way of cycling, acting as one of the spokespeople for cyclings interests in the capital. She’s enjoyed stints at fellow campaigners CTC and Living Streets and an earlier spell at the LCC nine years ago.
Pro mountain bike rider
Sally Bigham, aka ‘Iron Sally’, had an unconventional route to mountain bike stardom, getting into mountain biking after completing a Doctorate in Psychology. A few years later Bigham was the British National Marathon Champ and a rider for the Topeak-Ergon Racing team. Multiple national titles followed, transitioning from one of the most successful MTB riders in the UK to one of the most successful in the world, winning a multitude of championships at home and abroad.
Cycling Embassy, Cycling Dumfries
In addition to her local campaign work at Cycling Dumfries, Sally Hinchcliffe is a crucial link in Pedal on Parliament — a campaign which has transformed cycling activism in Scotland — as well as the Cycling Embassy of GB. Hinchcliffe’s weekly blog-roundup helps connect activists and others around the world, building a community of concerned cyclists, but always giving us some humour and good writing along with hard facts. And she also launched the first ever UK Women’s cycling Forum, held in Edinburgh last June. She is not a self-promoter, so much of her influence is subtle and not always visible, but Hinchcliffe is a crucial pair of hands behind the scenes.
Sandra Corcoran is director of Pennine Cycles, where she has been joint owner for almost 15 years.
When she became a bike shop owner it’s fair to say it was a very male dominated environment. Corcoran is a great networker and spreads the joy and fun of cycling to other business owners. A cycling enthusiast, Corcoran’s enjoyment and passion for cycling shows in everything that she does.
CTC & SIP Events
Sara Randle was recently named by Singletrack as an Unsung Hero for her work at MTB events. Among these are Mountain Mayhem, Sleepless in the Saddle, the Kielder 100, Bontrager Twentyfour12, the UK and Euro 24hour, plus numerous others. She worked at London 2012, overseeing the installation of the MTB course, and is now the Cycling Development officer for the Chilterns, working for the CTC to increase cycle tourism in the Chilterns region. In that, she was able to secure a stage finish for this year’s Tour of Britain, which resulted in huge economic impact for the area. Randle has also formed her own events company, SIP Events, to organise and host events.
Transport for London
Sarah Burr is TfL’s senior strategy & planning manager for Surface Transport. Burr has been extremely influential in the development and launch of Barclay’s Cycle Hire and the London stages of the Tour de France. This success led to her appointment as the manager of the Cycling Strategy & Outcome Planning team, leading on TfL’s strategic direction for all cycling investment across the Capital. In this role, Sarah has been a driving force in the scoping, initiation and implementation of the Mayor’s Cycling Vision for London. She has led the team in the development of a £913 million portfolio of cycling investment and is active in women’s cycling forums and groups.
Reporter and Blogger
Sarah Connolly is the go-to person for women’s cycling, if there is anything you need to know about women’s cycling all over the world, then Sarah’s website/ podcast/ twitter feed should be one of the first places you go. One pundit said: “There is no one with more dedication to, or knowledge of the coverage of pro women’s racing. Sarah has more depth of knowledge about riders, teams, and events than anyone else who covers the sport. You could argue that there isn’t anyone on the men’s side of the sport that knows as much about the subject as Sarah knows about women’s cycling. An unsung hero who deserves to be in the spotlight for her efforts.”
Sarah Drummond is co-founder and director of Snook. She is part of the team that organised the first Cyclehack: an event to for cyclists to crowd source ideas and innovations on improving the experience of cycling. The outcome of the first event was a massive catalogue of ideas including the now famous Penny in your pants.
Drummond is currently leading next year’s Cyclehack, a global event taking place in 35 cities around the world in 2015 looking at how we can reduce the barriers to cycling.
Diva Descent is a downhill race aimed at women. Launched by Sarah Muir, the grassroots mountain biker event was set up to be a platform for women to try the sport out. Since then the event has been praised for the difference it has made to women mountain bikers across the UK and beyond. However, Muir has taken a break from organising events, with harsh words for the upper ranks of the industry, pointing out their lack of confidence in the female market and the difficulties of linking grassroots to elite riders. In the meantime, Muir is also assistant manager for FMD Racing, the team centred around elite rider Tahnee Seagrave.
Sarah Pain is brand and product marketing manager at Wiggle and prior to that was category manager for the development of women’s cycling category at the powerful cycle retailer. In the role she spearheaded making the site more women focused, enhancing the shopping experience and product ranges.
Pain is a MTB racer and a trained Breeze cycling coach, regularly taking out new cyclists – male and female – and introduces them to the world of mountain biking. Pain works tirelessly in engaging more people in the industry to develop womens cycling, as a sport, and as a retail business worth investing in.
Dame Sarah Storey,
Multiple Gold Medallist
One of our pundits put it simply: Sarah Story is the queen of British paracycling. It’s not hard to see why, with a staggering 24 gold medals in road cycling alone. Over to our pundit: “She’s amazing, and racing in the able-bodied domestic season too, she’s just this powerhouse, and continually challenging expectations – coming back off maternity leave to come third in the national ITT champs this year. And she and her husband Barney run their own team, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International – which is of course massively influential. I can’t wait to see what she does over the next few years. Golds are a given, of course!”
Shanaze Reade is a true advocate of the “go hard or go home” mantra, contending with injuries to forge a winning cycle career, not least with that big crash shortly before bagging silver at the World Champs at Birmingham. Winner of three UCI BMX World Championships, Reade has also competed for Britain at the highest level on the track, including alongside Pendleton. A former Young Sportswoman of the Year, Reade has been doing plenty of youth outreach work across the country and running coaching clinics and raising the profile of women’s BMX. In a sport which isn’t famed for its diverse ethnic mix, Reade is also a significant winner on two wheels.
Sharon Fuller is a producer at BBC Sport with a long list of accolades. Despite those multiple achievements – like Production Executive work for the Olympics, Moto GP and Formula 1 – she would probably say increasing TV exposure for women’s cycling is one of her most important and significant contributions. Not only that, but Fuller co-created The Cycle Show, which brought cycling into mainstream TV, and in prime time too. She’s the project lead for Get Inspired, BBC Sports campaign to get more people in the UK active. She has literally brought women’s cycling to TV, producing the Tour Series, the Nocturne, World Cups, and the Tour of Britain.
Shelley Alexander and Victoria Cotton [amended]
The power of the nation’s broadcasters is hard to over-rate and thankfully for cycling there are people like Shelley Alexander in positions of power, pushing for more women’s sport on the BBC. It's Victoria Cotton that specifically looks after cycling on the BBC and has helped get the road World Cup highlights on the red button, the Prudential Live Classic crit live on the BBC and is there right at the forefront of the push for more, at all levels.
Sian Emmison is managing director and owner of Bobbin Bicycles and as such was right in the thick of the trend of ‘bike boutiques’ that first cropped up a few years ago and has gone on to influence new shops and the industry at large. From the Bobbin shop Emmison has built an influential and authentic bike brand from the ground up. Emmison’s key strengths of business strategy, merchandising and branding have seen Bobbin go from strength-to-strength. Achieving all this in the middle of a recession, Bobbin has reached into the women’s market and seen sales grow steeply, influencing the trade and balancing chain and independent shop needs.
Sophie Thornhill started racing at 17 in 2013 and in a breathtakingly short period of time has become double world champion, with pilot Rachel James, in para-cycling tandem events. Also a double Commonwealth gold medallist (tandem sprint and 1km time trial), Thornhill set the world record in both last April. Needless to say at the age of 18 Thornhill has a opportunity and potential to become one of Britain’s most celebrated paracyclists, providing plenty of inspiration for the nation.
Suzanne Forup is assistant head of development at CTC Scotland. While there, Forup has developed a number cycling initiatives in Scotland, including the
the Woman’s Cycling Forum which launched last year for round table discussions and presentations about inclusive cycling. Play on Pedals is another project Forup is behind, a Commonwealth Games legacy for Glasgow that gives pre-school children chance to learn to ride a bike before they start school. She has also set up a number of Belles on Bikes groups across Scotland and manages the Bike Club Scotland programme in her role at Youth Scotland.
Tahnee Seagrave first started riding downhill in 2007 and really came to the world’s attention when she won 2013’s Junior Women’s Downhill world title. Racing with FMD (Follow My Dream) team, run by her father, Seagrave is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Rachel Atherton and Manon Carpenter. FMD is committed to helping young riders become world class athletes and in Seagrave it appears to making good on that target.
Tanya Griffiths is a rider for Starley-Primal and founder of the Women’s Eastern Racing League. Despite a high pressure job and a busy racing programme with the Starley-Primal team, Griffiths has devoted herself to improving the state of women’s cycling in the Eastern region. She single-handedly created the League with the aim of introducing a more organised structure to women’s racing in East Anglia, where it was badly neglected at grassroots level, and despite some serious setbacks she persevered and now the League is now beginning to pick up pace and looks set to blossom in 2015.
Photographer Taz Darling started out assisting some influential fashion and advertising names, including Mary McCartney. Since then she was worked with plenty of household names like Trek Bicycles, Adidas, Lloyds Bank and Vice Magazine. Probably best known in the cycle world for her work with Rouleur, Darling has proved to be pretty fearless while getting the right shot – she suffered some horrendous injuries in 2012 when riders crashed into her at the Scheldeprijs ride.
Three time World Champion
Most people know Tracy Moseley from her success as a pro racer – a three-time World Champion in two different MTB disciplines, Moseley is a female athlete who has bridged the gender gap. But that’s not the only reason Moseley should be on this list – behind the scenes she dedicates much of her time to coaching kids and junior level racers, and providing skills clinics held on her own property via British Cycling and her local club Malvern Cycle Sport. With her partner James, she has encouraged young riders, both boys and girls, to take up MTBing and grow their skills. She has coached up-and-coming junior girls and helped them achieve their own sponsorship. All in all, she is a class act both on and off the bike.
Champion and Brand Head
Victoria Pendleton needs no introduction, but it would be remiss to not mention her first World Championships in 2005 and her first Olympic Gold in 2008, with huge contributions to women’s cycling and female representation in the sport and fitness arena. The spotlight has remained on Pendleton, whether through partnerships with Fitness First and Halfords (her range with the latter has been Halfords’ best selling range of womens bikes ever). Her success in promoting the sport and raising its profile in the media shows no sign of abating, engaging everyday women to get cycling. Her backing of women-only Cycletta rides hasn’t hurt either.
Wiesia Kuczaj is account manager and PR guru at cycle-orientated PR and media firm Fusion Media, which has worked with some high profile cycle names including Strava and Science in Sport alongside up and comers like Ride25. Wiesia is also well known as part of Team Mule Bar Girl. Kuczaj is also co-founder of VeloJam (with fellow Mule Bar Girl Anna Glowisnki), the women-only track cycling event.