3 Days of Ulster Cycling: A World Class Women's Bicycle Race

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Pro 1/2/3 lines up for the circuit race on Saturday.

Pro 1/2/3 lines up for the circuit race on Saturday.

Over 100 women arrived in Woodstock, New York, last weekend to toe the line at 3 Days of Ulster Cycling, also known as Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix. Conceptualized and created by Martin Bruhn with the vision to highlight the need for parity in the male dominated sport of competitive cycling, the race offered a $6,000 purse. The cancellation on May 4 of Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix leaves the WWCGP as the sole women-only bicycle race in North America.

A tight peloton before the climb at the crit.

A tight peloton before the climb at the crit.

Sprint to the finish at Sunday’s road race.

Sprint to the finish at Sunday’s road race.

The event comprises three different races: a six-mile individual time trial, a circuit race, and a road race with a 60-mile option for Pro 1/2/3 and masters riders and a 30-mile race for Cat 4/5 riders. The courses are challenging, “similar to what I remember from when I was racing in Europe,” says Martin. Circuit racers face a hairpin turn that steals momentum right before a climb, and the road race features a 2-mile climb with a maximum grade of 17%. The reward for completing this climb is topping out in front of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.

 
Almost there! Just yards away from the crest of the 2 mile climb.

Almost there! Just yards away from the crest of the 2 mile climb.

 

The racing was exciting, with speed, strategy and determination on display.

But even with the challenges of the course and the seriousness with which the athletes compete, there was a real camaraderie among competitors. The atmosphere of support showed itself in the faces of the racers before, during, and after the event. They smile. They laugh. And they are totally badass.

camaraderie+of+women+cyclists
Thank you for such a wonderful event. It was the most organized and supportive race I have ever been to in my 3 years of racing. Can’t wait for next year!
— 2019 Competitor
transgender cyclist
Approaching the finish line at the road race.

Approaching the finish line at the road race.

woman masters cyclist

Women riders competed against each other, giving everything they could to the race in order to achieve the best result possible, and yet before and after they were able to support one another in a way that was inspiring.

The WWCGP has an all-inclusive environment that welcomes riders of all ages and with a wide range of abilities, from seasoned pros to women for whom this was their first race ever. You don’t have to be a pro to be able to compete at 3 Days of Ulster.

 
The future of cycling is female.

The future of cycling is female.

 

WWCGP 2019 Road Race

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WWCGP 2019 Circuit Race

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WWCGP 2019 Time Trial

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