New women’s highlights

With almost 300 days of sun a year and plenty of hills to climb, Málaga in Spain is the perfect getaway for an early season training camp. In March, we took three Rapha riders there for some warm-weather miles, and to road test the latest products from our women’s collection.

Photography by Jane Stockdale

Rapha-women-malaga-portrait-mountain-trio

“As you fly into Málaga it looks as if somebody has pushed a tablecloth towards the edge of the table so it all ruffles up into these creases. The hills end at the sea – it’s impressive.”

Gem Atkinson

Rapha_H117_Malaga_39
While not renowned as a ride destination, Málaga boasts plenty of medium-size climbs with gradual gradients, quiet roads, and seaside views in the sun. “You think of Málaga as retirees playing golf, but I loved riding here!” said Gem.
Rapha_H117_Malaga_54

Gem Atkinson

Photo editor at Bloomberg and Cat 2 racer for SigmaSportWRT

“Cycling feels like somewhere I belong. It’s the first time I’ve really felt included, which is the greatest gift. I’ve been riding for just over ten years, and started racing two years ago because I wanted to push myself. It felt like something I should do because I was really scared of it. Seeing the growth of women’s grassroots racing and at the top level was quite inspiring, as was reading how some of the elite female racers juggle full time jobs with competing.”

Rapha_H117_Malaga_38
Torcal de Antequera Straight out of the gate the trio rode north, through the Montes de Málaga Natural Park before hooking west to the Torcal de Antequera rock formations. An unusual karst landform that has a Jurassic Park feel to it, the Torcal is reached by a beautiful 3.6km climb off the main road that hits gradients of up to 14% in places.
Rapha_H117_Malaga_1

Kitty’s Canyon

House in the hills,
East Málaga

A member of the London chapter of the Rapha Cycling Club, Kitty rode an RCC Canyon Ultimate CF SLX in Málaga. RCC members can hire Canyons from any Rapha Clubhouse.

Learn more about the RCC »

Rapha_H117_Malaga_50
Ojén Head north out of the hillside town of Ojén and you’ll find the most beautiful stretch of road in the region. Curly hairpins and not a car in sight.
Rapha_H117_Malaga_49

Kitty Pemberton-Platt

Digital Marketing Manager at Rapha and Cat 4 racer for Rapha Cycling Club.

“The only time I really know why I ride is when I’m not riding. I started four years ago and it has become everything to me: where I work, the people I hang out with, where I go on holiday. A big turning point was moving to London and finding a group of girls to ride with. I met Gem on a Rapha Women’s 100 training ride three years ago and the group of girls we rode with on that very first evening are now a big bunch of best friends. We’ve all evolved as riders together, with some of us racing now.”

Rapha_H117_Malaga_42

Sami Sauri

Barista and fixed criterium racer for The Legor Enve Unicorn.

“Riding takes me away from everything I’ve had to deal with during the day. I started by commuting and then got into alleycat races six or seven years ago. I just wanted to have fun at first, going from point to point. Last year I tried a race and got a good result at a fixie race in Berlin. That made me start to train and get a proper road bike. I didn’t even know how to change gears! I started learning the basics, how my body was reacting to it, and so on. I love it. Sponsors help me but I still have to work hard. I like being busy though - it pays the bills too, so I can keep having adventures on my bike and racing fixed gear criteriums around the world!”

Rapha-women-malaga-portrait-dinner

“There are definite obstacles to riding and racing, and so much to learn. I was lucky enough to find a group of girls who are really kind with their knowledge and time (and patience!).”

Kitty Pemberton-Platt

Since returning from Spain…

Rapha-women-malaga-portrait-backpack

Gem competed in her first stage race abroad, the six-day Giro Sardegna in Italy. She finished 10th in GC, despite crashing hard on stage one.

Kitty reached the podium of a cat 3/4 race for the first time, and is soon to move up categories.

Sami came 11th in the elite women’s field at the New York Red Hook Crit, her best result yet.

Rapha_H117_Malaga_63

Rapha Women’s 100

A celebration of collective spirit, the Rapha Women’s 100 inspires women around the world to come together to ride 100km. Challenge yourself on 23rd July.

Pledge to ride