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Pioneer racers

Early women racers were faced with strong opposition and hostility, with even some staunch supporters of women's cycling claiming that the sport was nothing more than a novelty act, 'unwomenly', immoral, a potentially fatal health risk, and should be left to the men.

The photographs and interviews reproduced here show some of the earliest pioneers of women's cycle racing in the 1890s. Several later articles, debunking the idea that racing was unhealthy for women, are also included.