The Etape Pennines has a reputation as one of the toughest sportives in the UK, and this year we are excited to hear the number of female participants has jumped a whopping 327% since 2013.
Located in the stunning County Durham area, it's known for being 'brutal but beautiful', with 60 miles of riding, 2,000m of climbing and some breathtaking descents, all along a closed road route.
Last year, 60 women participated. This year, with another two months to go before the event, 256 women have signed up to take part - and more are expected to join in the coming weeks.
Selena Colmer, Etape Series Event Director said: “There has been a well-recognised growth in women’s cycling since the 2012 Olympics, with more of us inspired to get on our bikes. Importantly though, these new figures show that women are increasing in confidence and trying more challenging routes, pitching themselves against the men and enjoying it. With such a huge increase in Etape Pennines female riders, as well as the first ever Women’s Tour of Britain, 2014 is certainly a great year for women’s cycling."
As well as being an excellent personal challenge, the event also offers participants the opportunity raise money for an excellent cause - Marie Curie Cancer Care.
There's still time to sign up for the 2014 Etape Pennines, so get going!
Want to know what it's like to ride? Read about when Total Women's Cycling Tackled the 2013 Etape Pennines Sportive.
2014 Etape Pennines
Date: 20th July 2014
Location: County Durham
Cost: £63, or free if you pledge to raise £250 for Marie Curie Cancer Care
More info: Etape Pennines
Like this? Tempted to sign up? You'll find these articles useful.
Read our guide on How to Approach Your First Sportive.
Need a steed? Have a look our our guide to the 6 Best Women's Road Bikes of 2014.
Our Dos and Don'ts for Riding A Sportive is worth a read too.