Dame Sarah Storey, who last month won the 14th Paralympic gold medal of her career, has said she is not prepared to risk her life by racing on open roads.
The former Paralympic swimmer, who switched to cycling ahead of Beijing 2008 and has won nine gold medals on the track and the road, told BBC Sport: "You have to keep your wits about you and be prepared to meet a car coming head on when you cross that white line.
“That's not ideal. You should be racing on closed roads all the time.
"That's one of the big things I'd like to see change for women in the UK."
According to BBC Sport, of more than 1,500 races held in the UK this year, 450 are on public roads with 1,077 typically on closed circuits either specifically designed for cycling, or at motor racing circuits or airfields.
Some events, such as the 3 Days of Bedford Women’s Stage Race, rely on motorists to respect the directions of volunteer marshals and stop when riders are approaching, although race staff instructions are sometimes ignored.
Top events such as the Women’s Tour stage race or the one-day Women’s Tour de Yorkshire employ rolling road closures, while the Prudential RideLondon Classique takes place on fully closed roads.
The latter is the richest women’s race in the world, with prize money equal to that on offer in the men’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, held the same weekend.
Storey also said she wanted to see more women take up bike racing but highlighted the financial challenges facing the sport.
“Although it’s fairly even on the track, when you get to the road there’s still massive disparity.”
She said the introduction of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, while addressing some issues, had “created a ladder to climb.”
Storey, who with her husband Barney set up the Podium Ambition Pro Cycling powered by Club La Santa team, went on: “Unless you’re actually winning those races, you’re not necessarily going to get any coverage.
“But we need to attract the coverage if we’re going to get the sponsorship,” she added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.