Pedalling towards inclusion

Friends of Velocity, the Doltcini O'Shea Women’s UCI Continental Team, are racing the Ford RideLondon Classique in May.

 
 
 

Announcing its participation a week ahead of International Women's Day, the team said the news "underscores the commitment to advancing women’s cycling on a global stage. This is very much in line with International Women's Day, a global movement celebrating the achievements of women and advocating for gender equality in all spheres of life. This year, the campaign theme 'Inspire Inclusion' resonates deeply with Doltcini O'Shea's values and mission."

One of just three British women’s cycling teams riding with the world's elite, Doltcini O'Shea was established as a junior club team in southeast England. It has evolved into one of the UK's top amateur teams, attracting riders from Israel, France, South Africa and elsewhere - progress tracked by directeur sportif and Velocity contributor Pat Hayes in his first hand accounts of the gritty and often thrilling world of British women's cycling. 

Rider Connie Hayes, featured along with Pat on Velocity's podcast Tracks of my Tyres, said: "At Doltcini O'Shea, we understand the importance of creating an inclusive environment where all women feel valued and respected. We believe that diversity is our strength and through working as a team, we ensure each rider reaches their potential, as is evidenced in our recent selection for the Ford RideLondon Classique."

Featuring the world's greatest teams and riders, the Classique has been part of Ford RideLondon since its first edition in 2013 and was added to the UCI Women's WorldTour calendar in 2016. The three-day stage race involving two stunning stages in Essex and a final stage on The Mall, central London on Sunday 26th May.

The team is training and preparing for the race, a tough challenge when going against many professional teams, equipped with the best cycling apparatus, years of experience and sponsorship deals that provide them with top-of-the-line gear and resources. However, the women at Doltcini O'Shea are fuelled by determination and a strong sense of camaraderie, pushing themselves to their limits in every training session.

"Our participation in the Ford RideLondon Classique is not only a testament to our athletic achievements as an amateur team, but we also hope it inspires female cyclists everywhere," Connie added. "On this International Women's Day, we champion initiatives that inspire inclusion, break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, which will hopefully lead the way for a more equitable and empowering future for women in cycling." 

Sponsors and riders, contact Doltcini O'Shea here.

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