What obstacles does the pro-cycling world pose for women cyclists and how can you support them? Would a seasoned woman cyclist encourage a young girl to pursue cycling as a career? Iris Slappendel, the guest of our brand new #Ride2Unite podcast, answered all these questions and shared much more with host Anna Glowinski.
A multitalented ex-professional cyclist, a designer and a women’s cycling rights campaigner, Iris talked to Anna about her incredible 12-year racing career, the pro-cycling environment, being a female pro cyclist, and her decision to retire and co-found the Cyclists’ Alliance.
As a pro racer, Iris noticed how hard and sometimes lonely the cycling lifestyle can get. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a support system for those who need it. That’s why she founded the Cyclists’ Alliance in 2017, a year after her retirement. It’s an organisation that is always there for each and every rider. Following the ‘if you see it, speak about it’ approach, this international union encourages the whole cycling community to speak up about inequalities or injustice in the field.
Despite the issues that professional cycling still needs to address, Iris seemed hopeful and appreciative of the progress women’s cycling has made in the past years.
The two concluded by chatting about Iris’ career as a graphic designer. What’s it like to design the Netherlands’ Olympics collection and watch Anna van der Breggen wear the jersey while racing for the win at the Rio Olympic Games? Click play to find out!
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