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SBD Global/May 9, 2013/Finance

Olympic Gold Medalist Victoria Pendleton Says Women's Cycling Has Become Big Business

Sunday is Global Women's Cycle Day, "a sport where participation by women lags significantly behind that of men" in the U.K., according to Emma Sinclair of the London TELEGRAPH. The "statistics are, however, changing." British Cycling said that some 525,000 women in England currently cycle at least once a week and just under 1.2 million women in England cycle at least once a month. These figures "have caught the attention of the private equity world." Calculus Capital has invested £2M ($3.1M) in Human Race, the U.K.'s largest organizer of mass participation sports. The company organizes women-only cycling events called "Cyclettas," backed by Victoria Pendleton. The Olympic gold medalist has been "key to Cycetta's success." British Cycling Policy Dir Martin Gibbs said, "There are fantastic women role models with world beating athletes like Victoria Pendleton, Lizzie Armitstead, Laura Trott, Becky James and Shanaze Reade who are inspiring more and more women to take up cycling." Cycling retailers and brands "are making the sport more female-focused with new bikes like the Pendleton at Halfords" (TELEGRAPH, 5/8).
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