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HALFORDS has today written to the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) to add its voice to the campaign for a women’s race that is equal to the Tour de France. Male cyclists competing in the gruelling but glorious course cover over 3,360km across 21 stages for the chance to win prize money equivalent to more than £320,000. The women’s race, set in Paris at the end of the Tour, is 89km long in comparison with total prize money set at just over £16,000 to be split between riders.

Halfords’ YouGov research has found that there are differences in adulthood between attitude toward, and frequency of, men and women cycling. When it comes to ability, 11 per cent of women say they can’t ride a bike, compared to six per cent of men, and in terms of frequency, 20 per cent of men cycle once a month or more, compared to just nine per cent of women. More than 20 per cent of women say cycling on the road “petrifies” them.

The letter to the UCI references this, identifying the need for the sport to do more to inspire young girls and women to cycle into adulthood, and a female equivalent to, or even team in, the TDF is a huge leap towards this.

Double Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton, who designs an exclusive bike range for Halfords said; “I cycled from a young age either out on the road with my dad or at grass track races – back then there were not many women riding in any capacity. Whilst there are many more women out on their bikes today, I believe there is still so much more that we can do to encourage even more women and girls to take up the sport. The TDF is the biggest race in the world - and the most watched - so if there was an equal women’s event it would go a long way to inspiring more females to take up cycling.”

Halfords’ commercial director Emma Fox said, “It’s a surprise that in 2015 such a major cycling event doesn’t have a true women’s equivalent. Heroes like Victoria Pendleton have shown that women can take on the toughest Olympic feats – it’s now time that the most prestigious bike race in the world shows the next generation of young girls and women that they too can face the same course as men.”

Halfords is a proud partner of British Cycling’s women’s cycle network, Breeze, which is the largest programme in Britain designed to get women cycling.

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For further information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or 020 7896 3404

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4615 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 09th - 12th May 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Halfords plc

Halfords is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices.

The Halfords Group strategy is based on three pillars:

  • Supporting Drivers Of Every Car
  • Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age
  • Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time

The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience:

  • Service Revolution
  • The H Factor
  • Stores Fit to Shop
  • 21st Century Infrastructure
  • Click with the Digital Future

Halfords employs approximately 11,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera, Boardman and 13 cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Advanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of equipment including camping brands such as CampinGaz and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a while you wait fitting service for consumables including bulbs, blades and batteries as well as child seats, in-car entertainment systems and a ‘werepair’ service for cycles.