This month ‘Take The Stage’ kicked off and dug its heels into the cycling scene with the intention of encouraging participation in cycling with a focus on women and girls.
The product of dedication from Olympic champion, and one of the world’s greatest ever cyclists, Marianne Vos, plus United HealthCare Procycing’s Hannah Barnes, and journalist Rebecca Charlton, Take The Stage has already hosted two secret twitter rides and a round table discussion around women in cycling in London in the last two weeks.
The three inspirational women in cycling have created a website, weownyellow.com, to promote the ‘WeOwnYellow – Take The Stage’ festival, which will take place one week after the Tour de France begins in Utrecht in July 2015.
The goal of the festival will be to call women who love cycling together to ‘paint the town yellow’ whilst enjoying a 40km ‘DJ ride’, 80 and 90km led rides, or a 150km endurance ride. Following the mile logging, there will be food, drinks, music and a cycling market – what more could a girl in lycra want?
Vos, Charlton and Barnes have no intention of plunging women into the led rides with no support and training, and though in it’s infancy, the We Own Yellow website outlines the provision that is on its way – promising beginner courses, training plans and emails from Marianne Vos, and even programmnes written for shops and business on catering for female customers and helping them to meet others in the area.
In February, March and April, there will be road trips to Barcelona – 5 day riding events where women can spend their days concentrating just on turning the pedals – developing skills, gaining fitness, and having fun.
Twitter is already having a tweet-attack from excited riders who had the amazing opportunity to ride with Vos at the #TakeTheStage Secret ride in London and though just over a week old the Take The Stage Facebook page has gathered 500 followers.
Alongside Chrissie Wellington, Emma Pooley and Katherine Bertine, Vos was also one of the four incredible athletes and ambassadors for women’s cycling to form Le Tour Entier, the group which campaigned for a women’s Tour de France and won the female peloton La Course (which Vos won, naturally).
Vos is obviously passionate about furthering women’s pro cycling and creating more opportunities – but it’s not just the top end she’s focused on growing, and Take The Stage is about sharing and celebrating cycling with women of all levels. In a recent end of season blog she wrote: “The feeling that I get through cycling is something that I want to share with everyone as cycling really has made me the person that I am today.”
Of course, more women riding and watching riding at an amateur level means more support for the pros, so really all of these steps work together to help fuel the growing momentum, as Vos told Road.CC in an interview over the weekend: “Women’s cycling… [is] getting more attention, and that hopefully is an inspiration for all the girls, for other women to get on the bike and also raise the level for professionals.”
Alongside Vos, Rebecca Charlton and Hannah Barnes will be sharing more exciting news and events leading up to the festival in July. ‘We Own Yellow – Take The Stage’ is brand new, and taking its first steps – but the speed with which it’s growing implies leaps are not far away.
The best way to keep up with upcoming news and events is to follow Take The Stage CC on Twitter, or Facebook, or subscribe to the mailing list.