Pro cycling team Boels-Dolmans and SIS have combined forces to produce a helpful online guide full of useful information specifically for female cyclists.
The guide includes top nutrition tips, training and clothing advice, plus a twelve week training plan for those aiming to tackle their first sportive.
We loved this Q&A with World Champion (we're not going to get tired of saying that) Lizzie Armitstead...
Any tips for girls just getting into riding?
I think the main thing is not to be scared of taking food out with you. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll enjoy your riding so much more if you fuel properly, and you’re much more likely to get back out on your bike the next day.
Do you find it difficult to balance looking after your health, fitness and weight management?
Yes, power to weight ratio is difficult to get right, and it’s certainly something I’ve gotten better at as I’ve gotten older. I do think you’re better erring on the side of caution and having more food than you think you probably need.
In terms of general kit, the selection now can be quite overwhelming for new riders. Do you have tips on kit to never be without?
The simple things are making sure your shorts are tight. If your chamois can move around it’s not going to be comfortable. They should be slightly tighter than you’re comfortable wearing off the bike. Make sure you don’t wear underwear!
Don’t think that you need the best of everything either, something that fits is far more important whether that’s clothing or a bike. The sport can be quite intimidating to get into, so try and find a local club and get advice on the best local bike store, look at what other girls have and so on.
What’s your favourite pre-ride breakfast?
I like porridge with a few additions such as whey protein, berries and honey. I’ve had the same breakfast for years now.
What about your pre-racemeal the night before?
Depending on the quality of the hotel! I’ll always try and have some fish (I don’t eat meat), rice, and some vegetables. I often have a serving of muesli and yogurt as desert to keep my carb intake up.