• Cycling

Pendleton wants cycling equality

ESPN staff
September 30, 2012
Victoria Pendleton bowed out with Olympic silver in the women's sprint at London 2012 © PA Photos

Victoria Pendleton wants to see greater equality in road cycling and has called for British Cycling to appoint a female senior official.

The two-time Olympic champion, who retired after London 2012, is keen to build on the huge success for Britain's female cyclists at the Games.

Women's road cycling attracts less media coverage outside of the Olympics, something Pendleton is impatient to see change.

"It doesn't seem fair when you put in the same amount of training and you don't get the same opportunities," Pendleton told BBC Sport.

"I think there are opportunities for girls to make a name for themselves. I do feel, however, on the road side of things, there could be more. The guys get a lot of exposure and a lot of coverage. It's a real shame the women's road side of things hasn't been promoted."

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has approved a number of measures to improve the women's sport, while Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has said he would be willing to fund a British women's professional cycling team.

However, Pendleton believes the introduction of a woman into the managemet structure at the British governing body would be a huge boost for female sport, highlighting that her needs were very different to that of six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.

She said: "If I could change one single thing in British cycling then it would be to put an elite female in a high-up role within the structure. Someone who had power, authority and experience all at the same time. That, in one single move, would be the most helpful.

"I do feel [women's] needs and requirements are sometimes overlooked. It does take a female brain to work that out. A woman is more likely to have a different emotional intelligence to recognise if someone is struggling.

"I felt that I had to become more male in my approach and my persona in order to survive, rather than the sport catering to me. A lot of girls in the sport feel like this, I feel. I would consider coaching but it's not my time now to do it. I feel I haven't had enough experience of coaching to step in and really make a difference at a high level."

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