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Growth in women’s cycling is ‘incredible’ says Laura Trott

Elinor Barker points to increases in women’s prize money as being signs of things changing for the better

Laura Trott and Elinor Barker are confident that women’s cycling will soon get the same attention as men’s. Both say they have seen more and more women getting involved since they first started out and feel sure the trend will continue.

The Matrix Fitness team-mates were speaking to the Manchester Evening News at CycleFit in the Northern Quarter – CycleFit having become the team’s new technical sponsors.

Trott said: “When I first started out in cycling if there were two girls there that was successful but now if there are 20 girls there it’s just unbelievable. The growth of the sport is just incredible.”

World champion team pursuit rider, Elinor Barker, said: “I also started 10 years ago and I was the only girl in my age group so if I wanted to race I had to race the boys. But now if I go down to my local club they have their own entire racing league.”

Barker points to the record prize money on offer to women at Prudential RideLondon as a sign of how things have moved on from the days when former world time trial champion Emma Pooley described it as “nuts” that her “hobby” of competing in triathlons was bringing her more money than her chosen sport. The RideLondon announcement also came only a week after the Tour de Yorkshire had become the then-richest race in the world for female riders.

“Both have consecutively broken the record for the most amount of prize money for women in a bike race,” said Barker. “It’s becoming more and more like the men’s program in terms of structure, prize money, support and media coverage.”

Trott said that the best way for women to get into cycling was to go out in a group and suggested British Cycling’s Breeze rides as being a great place to start. “It’s just to give women that confidence because it always feels a much more friendly environment when it’s just the girls there.”

Phil Cavell, director and co-founder of CycleFit, said Matrix Fitness had brought a ‘refreshing dynamic’ when it came to working with a team.

“There’s a revolution of women getting on their bikes, loving it and having positive role models from Team Matrix, such as Laura and Elinor.

"We have worked with professional men’s teams but with this team, it’s been the most professionally rewarding and fun experience working with Matrix. They bring a refreshing dynamic and have this attitude of ‘we will achieve great things’ and we of course want to get behind that.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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