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Women in Cycling: You Need to Know These 4 Inspiring Cyclists

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The world of cycling has been a sports sphere dominated by men for a long time, however, there are some trailblazing women on the scene right now that are opening doors for a new generation of cyclists. Determined to break through boundaries and inspire young girls to unlock their own love of cycling and pursue careers at a professional level.

Here are some of the biggest names in women’s cycling today and why you need to know about them.

BMX – LARA LESSMANN

German cyclist, Lara Lessmann, is highly regarded as one of the best freestyle BMXers on the scene today. Born in 2000, this cycling prodigy has had her eyes on the prize for quite some time and has an impressive selection of wins under her belt, including her gold medal in the mixed category at the Youth Olympic Games and reaching the podiums at all four 2018 BMX Freestyle Park World Cups.

She started riding at a time when only a handful of female competitors were competing in freestyle BMX worldwide, making her achievements that much more important. She made her predecessors proud and inspired a generation of new BMX riders with her 2018 crowing as Park Rider Of The Year by German Freedom magazine.

ENDURANCE CYCLING – LEAL WILCOX

A true titan in the world of endurance cycling, Lael Wilcox only discovered her passion for biking when she started riding at 20 years old as part of her commute to work. Since this seemingly innocuous decision, Wilcox has since ridden approximately 150,000 miles across 40 countries, including the length and breadth of the USA.

Wilcox competed in her first race in 2014 and set the women’s record for the Tour Divide, a trail that is considered one of the most difficult cycling races on Earth by some.

Alongside her cycling accomplishments, Lael is one of the founders of the Girls Riding Into Tomorrow (GRIT) in Anchorage. This programme encourages girls to take up cycling and introduces them to endurance cycling with an overnight bike-packing journey.

CROSS COUNTRY – PAULINE FERRAND-PRÉVOT

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is widely considered one of the most gifted cyclists alive and has a long and accomplished racing career behind her. She is a 12x elite world champion rider and Ferrand-Prévot became the first female rider to join the Grenadier team in 2022.

Her career began when she won the Junior UCI Road and Cross-Country world titles, followed by becoming a professional in 2012. Ferrand-Prévot continued to keep winning at the forefront of her mind as she pushed on to win the road race at the 2014 Road World Championships and was crowned cyclo-cross world champion in 2015.

A combination of her undeniable skill and top-of-the-range mountain bike technology led her to secure the four mountain bike cross-country Olympic world titles, with subsequent wins following on in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

ULTRA-ENDURANCE CYCLING – ALEXANDERA HOUCHIN

Alexandera Houchin is an up-and-coming underdog in the world of ultra-endurance cycling. Steel-toed boots, cut-off denim and single-speed are her signature styles and these clearly work for her, as shown by her inspiring accomplishments in long-distance mountain bike races such as the 2,700-mile Tour Divide, the Colorado Trail and the Arizona Trail.

Having battled issues with her weight and body image as a young child, and never imagined she would be an athlete. In 2020, she won the Tour Divide and set the new women’s single-speed record.

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