Wildlife gets on board for launch of cycle challenge

L11-764  14/6/11'Cycletta launch at Whipsnade Zoo with Gail Emms.'wk 24 CP JX
L11-764 14/6/11'Cycletta launch at Whipsnade Zoo with Gail Emms.'wk 24 CP JX

A TEAM of female cyclists led by Olympic sportswoman Gail Emms joined lemurs and flamingos for the Cycletta launch at Whipsnade Zoo.

A TEAM of female cyclists led by Olympic sportswoman Gail Emms joined lemurs and flamingos for the Cycletta launch at Whipsnade Zoo.

Ivinghoe Velos cycling club leader Jose Hetherington, Cycletta organiser Jo Dytch and ZSL representative Lucy Cannock posed with the badminton silver medallist in the lemurs’ enclosure and swapped tips on training for the event.

Cycletta is the first women-only cycling event in Britain and the 40km route will start and end at Whipsnade Zoo on September 11.

Cycletta ambassador Gail, who recently gave birth to her first son, Harry, said: “Cycling is something I did as a kid, but it’s only since becoming a mum that I’ve been back on my bike. It seemed so pointless to get in the car with Harry for all the little journeys, so now I put him on the back of my bike.

“We go down to the park and to the lakes. I think it’s really important for Harry to see his mum active and hopefully he will be inspired by that. I want to be fit and healthy to do things with him so I hope that he will be too when he’s older. My cycling has definitely improved.”

Jo Dytch said: “One of the reasons for doing a women-only cycling event is because a lot of women don’t have the confidence. It’s a fairly male-dominated sport at the moment, lots of men in lycra on really fast bikes, so hopefully with this we can break down some of those barriers and give women the confidence to become pro cyclists.”