Unequal expectations, rumors about relationships with pro riders, comments about dress and sexualization, are part of the working conditions for women at the Tour de France. So is the spirit of hard work, camaraderie, and fraternity between the few women who do work in the pressrooms and on the back of media motorbikes. What makes the women who cover the sport of cycling different from male media members is how they are able to manage it all.
Related: The story of Darcy Kiefel, female pressroom pioneer
Nobody exemplifies this better than Kiefel. As the first woman to sit on the back of the photo motorcycle and capture pro racing’s most dramatic moments, she broke ground for future female reporters and photographers to come in her wake, yet she did so with grace and grit. Her story — and the stories of others — shows how much work it took to bring a female perspective to pro cycling.
“At the beginning, I cannot tell you how much I had to prove myself,” Kiefel tells VeloNews. “Ultimately, I wasn’t hired for any reason other than my talent. But it took a lot of tears. It took a lot of strength.”
Scroll through her photos below to enjoy a small part of her great collection of work.