A survey of over 4,600 adults for Halfords showed that 11% of women said they couldn’t ride a bike, compared with 6% of men. More than a fifth of women said cycling on the road “petrifies” them.
“The Tour de France 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.”
Pendleton, a double Olympic medallist, said: “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.
“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.”
Cycling outlet Halfords has written to the Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body for sports cycling, calling for more to be done to encourage girls and women to cycle.