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Golden girl Victoria Pendleton backs New Forest Cycletta bike ride
SHE is known as the queen of cycling with a string of world and Olympic titles to her name.
Now Victoria Pendleton, or Queen Vic as she known in the velodrome, hopes to spread the pedal power to Hampshire.
The nine times world champion – who added to the gold she won in Beijing with another gold and silver in London – will lead a women’s only charity cycling event in the New Forest – and has urged ladies across the county to get on their bikes.
Details of the New Forest leg of Cycletta, the UK’s only cycling series for women, were revealed at a launch event in London where Victoria took part in a spinning class.
The event will take place on Sunday, October 13 and the start line will be at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.
Victoria, who won the nation’s hearts after starring in Strictly Come Dancing, is encouraging all women to get active while raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 32-year-old, who will wed her former coach Scott Gardner in August, said: “I am so passionate about this series and it is fantastic to see Cycletta continue to grow in popularity with events now taking place all over the country.
“There are many reasons why women should get out on their bikes – whether it’s to commute to work, keep fit, socialise or to raise money for a good cause.
“Some cycling events can feel intimidating, particularly if you haven’t been on a bike for years and that’s exactly what Cycletta aims to change.” Cycletta New Forest is open to women of all ages and abilities and offers a range of distances from 20km (12 miles) up to 82km (50 miles).
Girls between 12 and 16 can also take part if accompanied by an adult and there is a children’s event for boys and girls to scoot, bike and run on the day.
Women taking part will be able to indulge in treat stops along the route as well as luxury post-ride spa treatments in a pop up spa by Unlisted.
- For information log on to cycletta.co.uk.
Tire-ing to keep up with Queen Vic
I LIVE in the New Forest where I’m used to leisurely riding around the tracks on my basic hybrid bike.
So nothing could prepare me for a spinning session with world and Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton.
It was exactly 11.45am at Brockwell Park Lido in Herne Hill at the launch of the Cycletta women’s only charity bike ride series but looking at the determination on Victoria’s face we could have been in an Olympic stadium.
She may have retired from cycling but it’s clear she will never lose her cycling crown.
As I feel myself getting hotter and my legs heavier as each second ticked by, only wishing there was a freezer nearby to jump inside, lithe, petite and feminine Victoria barely broke a sweat.
In fact she was untouchable and totally undistracted by us eight women gawping at our cycling heroine in amazement, totally in awe of her.
But she stared ahead. Her soft feminine face now ferocious and fearless – completely different to the unassuming but chatty woman I met in the changing rooms.
Victoria’s feet were pumping and pedalling in a blur of bony knees as the bike shook under her.
She is quite simply a powerhouse.
It was at that exact moment I got a taste of how rival Anna Meares must have felt before every race and I am now totallyinspired to get on my bike and set myself the challenge of taking part in the Cycletta.
Perhaps by the time Queen Vic comes to the New Forest in October I might just be able to keep up.