Disappointment as women's cycle race steers clear of Kingston

Lizzie Armitstead was cheered on by the Kingston crowds in the rain on her way to Olympic silver

Lizzie Armitstead was cheered on by the Kingston crowds in the rain on her way to Olympic silver

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

Cycling fans will not get a chance to see their Olympic heroines, including silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, on the streets of Kingston during August's cycling races.

While the men's race and about 25,000 amateur cyclists will cycle through Kingston twice as part a ride around south west London and Surrey, the women will only race in central London on a 1.3 mile route the night before.

The Prudential BikeLondon will see a women's race on Saturday, August 3, and the men and amateurs ride on Sunday, August 4.

Eileen Gray, former Olympic torch bearer and champion of female cyclists, said: "I think the girls should get stuck in like I used to when I wanted something.

"If you want something these days you have to fight for it."

Top female cyclists like Ms Armitstead will also have to choose between the Saturday race and another important race in the cycling calendar.

Richard Abraham, staff writer at Cycling Weekly magazine, said: "Personally I think there should have been a race for women. Why not? I think it would have been a good statement if there was but you can see the arguments.

"Logistically it is going to be difficult for them to hold a men's race at the same time as mass participation.

"To have a women's race is going to make it more difficult but, if they can do it for the men, why can't they do it for the women."

Sharon Hartley, Kingston councillor responsible for sustainability and sport, said: "We must make sure in the future that there is equality in the races.

"I think on this particular race the speed it was organised with, and the crowded calendar made it difficult.

"They did indicate that they were looking to do that in the future and I am comfortable with that."

Smaryka tweeted: "Shame on the organisers!"

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