Inaugural event next month
Beaumont backs Women’s Tour to spur interest in cycling
Mark Beaumont and Eileen Roe encouraging women to take up cycling
Mark Beaumont, the endurance athlete, believes next month’s Women’s Tour of Scotland could spark an uptake in female cycling across the country.
The three-day inaugural tour starts in Dundee on 9 August and will take in five cities, concluding in Edinburgh. Beaumont, who is the fastest person ever to cycle around the world, joins TV celebrity Gail Porter as a fellow ambassador of the Tour and Scottish racing cyclist Eileen Roe who is also commentating during the event.
Beaumon said: “The Tour has the power to inspire more women to uncover the benefits of cycling both recreationally and competitively. With women on average currently cycling less than men in the UK, I’m very keen to help address the imbalance.”
The leader’s jersey for the tour is sponsored by Edinburgh-based investment manager Baillie Gifford which is making its first venture into major professional sport. The jersey is made from six recycled plastic bottles and is much like the forthcoming Tour de France traditional yellow jersey, but with a Scottish twist – a saltire design in blue and purple. It will be awarded to the leading rider at the end of each stage and the final race winner.
Lynn Dewar, partner at Baillie Gifford, said: “The new Tour resonated with us in many different ways. Treating people equally, teamwork, strong role models, health and environmental wellbeing, and endurance all match the core values of our firm.”
Katie Archibald, centre, with team-mates at the launch of the new jersey
Sixteen of the world’s elite teams will take part in the Tour with Great Britain team-mates Katie Archibald (Scotland) and Elinor Barker (Drops Cycling) set to compete against each other. The Tour is the first of its kind to be instituted before a men’s equivalent and offers parity of prize money.
Jack Royle, head of partnerships at the Women’s Tour of Scotland, said: “We want to create a legacy to help more people take up cycling as a leisure activity and to have somebody like Mark Beaumont back our ambition to do that, shows just what this Tour means for the country.”
The team list:
Ale Cipollini Italy
Brother United Kingdom
Drops United Kingdom
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank United States
Korean National Team South Korea
Lotto Soudal Ladies Belgium
Norway National Team Norway
Park Hotel Valkenburg Holland
RALLY UHC United States
GB Cycling Team Great Britain
Valcar Cylance Italy
Jadan Weldtite United Kingdom
Torelli United Kingdom
UCI World Cycling Centre Switzerland