In an arena that has long been undeniably male-dominated, Wolfpack Hustle’s non-traditional races have taken the lead to invite women to their place at the starting line.
While women fight tooth and nail for half the road in pro cycling, Wolfpack Hustle races draw more female competitors with every race, as strong urban cyclists like Jo Celso and Kelli Samuelson achieve accolades alongside the top men in their fields, inspiring young women to clip in and take off.
Since their humble beginnings made up of a dozen or so cyclists in cutoffs riding on Monday nights out of Silver Lake thirsty to see who was fastest, Wolfpack Hustle races have always supported its she-wolves, like first generation dog tag holder Beatriz Rodriguez who later went on to attain Cat 1 rating and National titles under USAC.
A legend and inspiration to female cyclists, the chance to measure up against Rodriguez drew other women on bikes to future races. Instead of putting out a call for podium girls, Wolfpack Hustle organizer Don Ward chose to challenge women to contend for their place among the world’s toughest urban cyclists and win their own dog tags. Once again on July 12th, the Civic Center Crit2 is set to encircle the Los Angeles City Hall building with a finish line adjacent to the Grand park lawn on Spring st.
The race categories include a brakeless track bike division–55 women are currently signed up. Rather than hold women’s races in the shadows of men’s, Wolfpack Hustle races have led the way in drawing more women to the sport of cycling. Equal courses, competition time, and resources, coverage and awards are the key ways that Wolfpack have attracted growing numbers of women competing. They have also set the example, having a positive impact on the format and opportunities at other races, including, one of our favorites, the international Red Hook Crit series.
“There’s a lot going in to making this race very special, from international teams flying in to the awesome showing of women’s elite and developing racers.” said Nona Varnado of The Bird Wheel. “Last year’s event was one of the most inspiring bike events I’ve ever attended and I can see this year getting bigger and better. So excited for this one!”
We can’t wait to watch this day play out. It’s always exciting to see women’s racing share the stage.
Posted by Sarai Snyder