Over the last few days social media has filled me with both joy and despair. As a lifelong cyclist and middle aged woman I was really happy to hear reports that more women are taking up the sport either to compete or just for fun and on the same day I learned through CasquetteCC that Podium Ambition had folded.
One of the founders of Podium Ambition is Dame Sarah Storey who, unless you’ve been sleeping for the last six Paralympics Games managed to win 11 Gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze medals, she’s not just most successful para athlete but one of the most successful GB athletes of all time. How come with all the take up of women’s cycling and the UCI looking at ways to improve the female sport AND with the profile of Storey my question is how did this happen?
I know I could never compete because that kind of thing takes mental fortitude that I just don’t think I have but if there’s one person that does know what it takes in terms of commitment to succeed would be an internationally recognised, multi discipline, woman with 22 medals.
Comparatively you have a guy, he wins The Tour, set the hour record and has a fraction for the metal wear and yet his team, even in the clutch of in-rule dope allegations still maintains a sponsored team, and all he had to tolerate was a bit of asthma and a spot of hay fever. How does that work?
If there was one female British cyclist that should be supported in putting a high class, high performing team together it should be Dame Sarah Storey. I’d have thought that sponsors wouldn’t be so short sighted and fail to recognise that ex female cyclist can put together an international racing team that wins races, look at the unstoppable Rochelle Gilmore and the amazing Wiggle High 5 team.
I’m not saying that Podium Ambition would have been taking on Boels Dolmans in international competition but in the same way the men’s domestic sport seems to have tied up Team Sky with Wiggins mini Sky training, preparing and feeding into the men’s sport. Dame Sarah Storey should have been at the helm of that well financed domestic female owned, ran and structured team with an owner that should be the poster girl for female sporting achievement along with Kelly Holmes.
It’s a sad-sad day.