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Kristin Armstrong vs. Michael Jordan: 0 to 18 for Wheaties box appearances

March 12, 2014
Women's start at 2012 Tour of the Gila criterium stage in Silver City

Women’s start at 2012 Tour of the Gila criterium stage in Silver City (photo by ProVeloPassion)

The announcement of the Amaury Sport Organisation’s new race for women on the final day of the Tour de France has brought attention to the momentum that’s been lifting the ladies’ side of pro cycling in the last year or so. For a summary of recent advocacy activities, see the USA Cycling story about benefits expected from the new race. La Course by Le Tour de France is the third competition the ASO puts on for women. The other two are the Ladies Tour of Qatar and La Fleche Wallonne Femmes.

As cycling enthusiasts and others learn more about women’s pro cycling they’ll begin to understand why advocates have been lobbying for increased equality and recognition for the efforts and achievements of female riders.

Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12)

Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12)

Did you know: Kristin Armstrong, twice an Olympic gold medalist, twice a world champion, and five times a national champion, has not featured on a Wheaties box. Michael Jordan holds the Wheaties box appearance record with eighteen. Admittedly, the cereal maker favors heroes from ball sports and other Olympic events over cycling athletes by a wide margin.

Did you know: American women didn’t race in the professional national championships, which had been staged only for the men, until 2013. Previously they competed for national honors alongside amateur classes as part of the elite event.

New fans will discover women’s pro cycling has a much shorter history compared to the men. The latter’s story could be measured by the duration of the Tour de France which first traveled through the country in 1903.

Did you know: The first women’s UCI Road World Championships was held in 1958. For the men, road worlds began in 1927. The initial worlds time trial took place in 1994 for both groups.

Did you know: Men first raced bikes for Olympic medals in 1896; the Olympic Games didn’t include a women’s road race until 88 years later in 1984.

Did you know: Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, came into existence in 1900. It launched its first Women’s Commission in 2013.

Women’s cycling devotees can watch more UCI Road World Cup racing in 2014. According to Cycle Sport, this season the women’s world cup series “will receive full television production and broadcasting” for the first time.

UCI President Brian Cookson told Cycle Sport, “We’re looking at getting a coverage package of each World Cup round available on the internet, as well as available to broadcasters such as Eurosport, to help the process of change in women’s cycling.”

The messaging and images in the promo video for the series are engaging; will it encourage potential viewers to tune in?

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4 Comments
  1. sxeveganbiking permalink

    Reblogged this on sxeveganbiking.

  2. Lance Armstrong, arguably the best American cyclist ever (before he was caught anyway), was only on a Wheaties Box once. Mary Lou Reton, on the other hand, was on there twice. Just say in’.

  3. Sorry, Mary Lou had three box covers, not two.

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