Six U.S. women to make history completing 2012 Tour de France supporting Bikes Belong
June 19, 2012
Rêve Team Members to Pedal Entire 2,162 Mile Course, Promoting Women’s Bicycling
Beginning one day ahead of the male professionals, six amateur women will ride the entire route of the 2012 Tour de France. Riding as part of the Rêve project, this will be the first group of women attempting to complete this course. The ride aims to raise $60,000 for the Bikes Belong Foundation and also to inspire more women to ride bikes more often. The team will start in Liege, Belgium, June 29, 2012 and will ride 21 days and 2,162 miles to the finish line, arriving in Paris on July 21 — one day before the pro peloton finishes the official Tour de France.
The women will face the same hurdles that define the annual three-week test of will and strength that is the Tour de France. However, they will not have the same support such as closed roads or cheering crowds, steepening the challenge. Team members include a molecular biologist, a journalist, mothers and business owners. Jennifer Cree, Maria del Pilar Vasquez, Kym Fant, Kristen Peterson, Kate Powlison and Heidi Swift hope to make history in Paris by completing the Rêve Tour and raising awareness for the Bikes Belong Foundation.
“Increasing women’s participation in bicycling is a longstanding interest of mine, both personally and professionally,” said Rêve team member Kate Powlison, research analyst and communications coordinator for Bikes Belong. “At Bikes Belong, we work to make bicycling safer and stress-free, encouraging more women to ride bikes. I’m doing the Rêve Tour to prove to any woman, no matter how daunting the challenge -- whether it’s a century ride, a steep hill, or riding to work for the first time—can be done.”
Rêve sponsor peloton magazine will host regular team and status updates on the event. Editor at large and Rêve team member Heidi Swift will share daily stories from the road on pelotonmagazine.com. To help the team reach their fundraising goal for Bikes Belong donations can be made at womens-tour.stayclassy.org. Every donation of $50 or more will receive a gift subscription to peloton. Every donor also is entered to win a Cannondale Hooligan bike.
“Rêve will be a milestone event for women’s bicycling,” said Bruno Maier, vice president of Bikes Belong. “Not only will it go a long way in supporting the sport, but also, it raises awareness of our mission to incorporate bicycling into everyday life. We are extremely proud of this dedicated team and honored to be a part of it.”