The lists of finalists nominated by Total Women’s Cycling readers is filled with inspirational women. They are talented, driven and determined. They have overcome obstacles, achieved great things, and work hard to promote women’s cycling. These are the finalists in the Cycling Personality of the Year category brought to you by Udderly Smooth for the Total Women’s Cycling Awards in association with Velo Vixen.
The winners of each category will be decided by a panel of expert judges and will be announced at the Total Women’s Cycling Awards ceremony at The London Bike Show in February 2015.
Ottilie Quince took 2 gold medals for road cycling home in the bi-annual World Transplant Games in 2013. Her promising career in football was curtailed by the need for an organ transplant in 2007, and although still involved in football she now focusses her attention on cycling competitively. By day Ottilie works as a sports injury and rehabilitation specialist, and she is also a cycling commentator and presenter, having relayed the action live on the new La Course race in Paris for Eurosport earlier this year. Ottilie has just been announced as Team Captain for the Great Britain Transplant Cycling Team in Argentina 2015.
Although starting out racing both track and road, Rochelle Gilmore focussed on road and has been racing for over 14 years, winning gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Road Race, and placing second in a number of other World Championship events. Focussed, driven and dedicated, she recognised both the need for more women’s cycling teams, increased coverage of women’s racing, and the opportunity that presented. Through hard work and experience, she started and now manages one of the most recognisable teams in the women’s pro-peloton, Wiggle Honda, securing sponsorship from two major brands.
Laura Trott OBE
Laura Trott was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to cycling, and it’s not hard to see why. The Wiggle Honda cyclist (soon to be Matrix Vulpine) is the most successful rider in the history of the European Track Championships, winning 7 titles overall. In 2014, she took both the senior and junior British National Road Race titles simultaneously, placed first in the World Championships Team Pursuit and the European Team Pursuit alongside teammates Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell, and gold in the Commonwealth Games points race. And all this, while still under 23 years old.
Dr Emma Pooley
Emma Pooley’s impressive palmares include National, World and Olympic titles, focussing on road and time trial. Not only has she had a long and successful career in the pro-peloton, but she has also completed a phd in Geotechnical Engineering. Emma Pooley was also one of the four founders of La Tour Entier, a campaign group that petitions for women to be allowed to race La Tour de France. Their work led to La Course, a new one day women’s event taking place on the same day and on the same location as the last, iconic stage of La Tour de France. She announced her retirement from pro-cycling at the end of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she won silver medals in the time trial and road race events, but plans to change focus to triathlon.
One of the four women who started the La Tour Entier campaign to allow women to ride the Tour de France route, Kathryn has a long history of campaigning for equality in cycling. A former figure skater and journalist, she came to cycling later in life, and has gone on to win various National Time Trial and Road Championship titles for her native Saint Kits and Nevis, in the West Indies. She created and directed the film Half the Road, which highlighted the inequality and sexism that exists in professional cycling. In 2014, she joined the Wiggle Honda team to ride La Course by Le Tour de France, a new one-day women’s race and hopefully a step forward for parity in racing.
Double World Champion Downhill mountain biker Rachel Atherton has pushed the profile of women’s cycling, and women’s mountain biking in particular, well and truly into the mainstream. She won the 2014 BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Award, and has worked to encourage and support more women getting into mountain biking. The new 2014 Red Bull Fox Hunt event drew the biggest number of women to a female-only MTB event in the UK, and Rachel herself chatted to and encouraged the participants. She is dedicated to increasing the profile of women in cycling, and bringing more girls and women into the sport.
That she’s a talented cyclist is in no doubt, with two World Champion titles to her name, but Giorgia Bronzini is also a fun loving ambassador for professional women’s cycling. Bubbly, chatty and engaging, Giorgia can’t help but infect you with a love for racing, and her passion for what she does is clear. She rode for the Wiggle Honda team in 2014, taking on the Friends Life Women’s Tour where she was pipped to the post by Marianne Vos in a sprint finish for the final stage. She came first in the Ride London Grand Prix, and participated in La Course by La Tour de France.