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Interview: Dani King on the Importance of the Women’s Tour

We met with Dani King to find out what the Women's Tour really means to her and why the race is so important for the growth of women's cycling.

Back in November Dani King suffered five broken ribs and a collapsed lung in a nasty bike crash. Showing her strength and determination to succeed, King is back with a bang having just won her first race post-crash.

A big focus for King this year will be the Aviva Women’s Tour. So we thought it only right to grab five minutes with the lady herself to find out how she is feeling just over a month before the big event…  

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Congratulations on your first win after your horrific accident, how did it feel and did you expect it?

I didn’t think it would happen at all, it felt amazing to come back like that into my first race. I went in with no expectations but to just get stuck in straight away. It was great to test my form and to get that confidence back and prove that what I’m doing is working and that I’m still in good shape.

Wiggle Honda are looking really strong this year, how do you think you will all get on at the Women’s Tour?

Yeah it’s been incredible, I’ve had so much inspiration from watching the other girls doing so well. It really inspired me to get stuck in and get some success on the road.

I think the Women’s Tour will be a major target for the Wiggle Honda team this year and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.

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Who do you think will be your biggest rival out there?

From a team perspective it will probably be Rabo Liv or Boels Dolman, I guess they also have set the benchmark like Wiggle Honda did at the beginning of the season.

I think it will be a case of those two teams that we will go head to head with. Women’s cycling is really booming at the moment, there are some really fantastic riders and teams out there so I think it will be a really aggressive race. It will be so exciting to watch!

As a British rider what does the Women’s Tour mean to you?

The race is so important to me and all the other British riders, having it on home soil makes it so much more special. It means a lot to have so much support from the race, last year there were 300,000 people that lined the roads and 2.2 million people watching it on TV.

I also think having Aviva sponsoring the event will bring so much kudos and credibility to it, to have such a big brand behind women’s cycling.

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You were at the Women’s Tour last year how did it differ to other races you have competed in?

To have such strong foundations in that race like the men usually do was amazing. The infrastructure was fantastic and the way it was run was incredible, I know a lot of the riders are looking forward to the event this year.

The coverage the race gets is so valuable for the sport but what else do you think is needed for the growth of women’s cycling over the next few years?

It’s just proving that if you run the races alongside the men’s you’re going to get good support for the women’s as well. People are excited to watch women’s racing but it’s the coverage that is the most important part.

There are so many women’s races which have a strong backing and a great set up, but there are no TV highlights or much coverage of them at all, so we can’t watch them.

That is where the Women’s Tour are doing such a fantastic job. And the figures show last year that people do want to watch it, so that is exactly what we need to have more of.

What are your other big goals for this year?

To get stuck in with racing for Wiggle Honda and to play more of a team role. I want to do a really good job in contributing to good results and wins for the team.

Ultimately I’m also looking at trying to get myself back into the Team Pursuit squad for Rio. So I want to get have a good end of the year in terms of my track season and to get selected for the World Championships.

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