Wednesday, 26 February 2014

South East Women's Time Trial Series

It would not be seen as a major step in some sports, but I just wanted to applaud Rebecca Slack and her co-conspirators who are getting the South East Women's TT series off the ground. Time trialling is a great way to get into competitive cycling. The range of distances, the fact that you are essentially racing yourself and being able to see your progress all helps. Events are cheap to enter, and there are often a range of prizes to win. But the sport has not done a great job in attracting women to date. Despite the space age kit, Testing is not always the most modern branch of cycling, but having now embraced internet entry anything is possible I guess. Even so, a time trial where women made up 10% of the field (9-12riders) was a notable turn out. 
This is why SEWTTS is such an exciting move. With well over 100 women already signed up shows that there is a pretty substantial appetite out there waiting to be tapped. Working with race organizers to get a women's allocation means that new riders will get a look in at some of the faster more popular courses, and a points system based on placing (rather than time) rewards those prepared to tough it out on the sporting courses. In truth a men's SE league run on the same basis would not go amiss. 
Its a great start, with the first event on the Calendar the SCCU 21 on 23rd March where 25% of places are reserved for women it is a huge opportunity to broaden participation in this branch of cycling.