Rapha Women's 100

Together We Ride

The Women’s 100 is a celebration of the joy of riding a bicycle and the togetherness that it brings. Here, the riders of CANYON//SRAM share their thoughts on how they fell in love with cycling, how they ensure they perform at their the best, and why more women should ride bikes.

#womens100

There’s still time to sign up to ride the Women’s 100, on Sunday, 23rd July. Visit the Women’s 100 hub, where you’ll find details of rides near you and information on how to plan your own ride. Join in and ride together.

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CANYON//SRAM Racing is an extraordinary team. A diverse group of women with a team motto of ‘better together’, in race after race they display impressive tenacity and teamwork. But beyond the professional peloton, these 11 women are intent on sharing their passion for cycling by inspiring people all around the world to ride more and #takethelead.

On falling in love with cycling

“On 1st June, 2001, I tried riding a bike for the first time. I was 12 years old, it was the first day of the school holidays and I went to a cycling club. I loved it immediately and I’ve never stopped since. What started out as fun soon became a hobby and then a lifestyle. Now it’s a career.”

Alena Amialiusik

“I grew up in a football family. One day my Dad took me to watch my brother play. There were lots of kids on the side of the pitch riding bikes. I was intrigued and said to my dad ‘instead of watching football I want to try that!’, that’s where it began.”

Barbara Guarischi

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“I started cycling at school and bought my first bike in December 2008 for €120, with shoes included! The shoes were way too small, so I just wore them without the insoles. I never intended to start racing but someone just suggested I give it a try and I loved it. I had a lot to learn and I made mistakes. I remember going on a youth training camp where it was raining and super cold. I didn’t have gloves but I remember saying, ‘I don’t need gloves!’”

Mieke Kröger

“I started cycling when I was five years old and fell in love with it straight away. My parents were cyclists and my dad had a bike shop, so it was a family thing. As a child I was a real tomboy, I’d practice cyclocross in the garden and from a young age I wanted to be the best. When I started racing I would beat the boys, which really upset their parents, and when I was 12 I won the national championships by beating a 16-year-old girl.”

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot

On togetherness and teamwork

“I love the social aspect of cycling with a group, the banter, the coffee stops. Riding with others makes me push myself so much harder, particularly if I’m riding with boys – I’ll be chasing them and in my head I’m saying ‘I’m not getting dropped, I’m not getting dropped!’, I’m not going to let them have to wait for me.”

Tiffany Cromwell

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“In a group time goes by so much faster, whereas five or six hours alone can feel like forever! More than that though, riding together means you can talk, support and motivate each other. And, if somebody is a little better than you it makes you want to improve.”

Lisa Brennauer

“Being a team is having a connection between you and your teammates. You need to have complete faith in each other.”

Hannah Barnes

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“A team time trial is one of the best races in the sport, because you suffer, win, or lose together.”

Trixi Worrack

On being the best you can be

“Sometimes being the best comes down to confidence. It’s telling yourself you can do it. It’s getting out of that negative hole and fighting to find positivity in the people around you.”

Tiffany Cromwell

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“I don’t see training as punishment. For me, it’s something to love. Every morning I wake up and want to ride because I know I’m going to do something that makes me incredibly happy.”

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot

“It’s exhilarating to be at the front of a bike race but it’s so hard to get there, especially in the Belgian races. Once you're there the feeling you get is so powerful, and although I’m really hurting, I can overcome the pain. When you’re in that zone, you can be totally focused on your goal.”

Alexis Ryan

“I love climbing because you suffer. Like everyone, I find it hard but the more you suffer the more you can be proud of yourself when you reach the top.”

Alena Amialiusik

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“Sometimes, when you’re in the right frame of mind, your body can do something really special.”

Barbara Guarischi

On why more women should ride bikes

“Women can be so doubtful of their ability and in my mind, it comes down to confidence – many riders think they’re not good enough to race but I say to them don’t be scared, it's just cycling.”

Mieke Kröger

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“Cycling is not a scary thing but many women perceive that it is, and if that’s the case you just need to find your moment. Ride when it’s quiet on the roads, ride when everyone else is doing something else, ride when you feel safest.”

Elena Cecchini

“Cycling is such a liberating thing to do. You’re free when you’re on the bike. You’re not affected by the world around you. And when you do it with friends, you build bonds, you build camaraderie and you suffer together.”

Alexis Ryan

#womens100

There’s still time to sign up to ride the Women’s 100, on Sunday, 23rd July. Visit the Women’s 100 hub, where you’ll find details of rides near you and information on how to plan your own ride. Join in and ride together.