The owner and manager of Cornwall’s top female cycling team has been ranked among the most exceptional women in the sport in a top 100 list compiled by Cycling UK.  

Redruth-based Jenny Bolsom manages the Saint Piran women’s road team and their newly-relaunched women’s mountain bike squad.  

She appears alongside female cycling pioneers including Tour de France winner Demi Vollering, world champion Petra Wiltshire and Paralympian athlete Kadeena Cox. The list is drawn up annually by the cycling charity, with gongs awarded for a wide range of achievements in four categories: community champion, industry mogul, cycle influencer and sporting hero. 

Former triathlete Jenny, 38, appears in the sporting hero category. She moved to cycling in 2015 and started to race straightaway; she is now giving support and direction to help other women develop their passion.  

“Watching women of all ages, abilities and across different disciplines develop and have fun on two wheels is the best feeling,” she says.  

“Over the past three years, our focus has been to take our success in races and use it to inspire women to get on two wheels, often for the first time. As such, this award is recognition of a group impact rather than that of an individual.” 

The South West-based Saint Piran Cycling Group is best known for its successful men’s UCI Continental road team, but has set course to bring more women into mountain biking, cyclo-cross and gravel over the next five years.  

As well as running the South West Women’s Road Race League, Jenny and her team organise free mountain bike sessions for women with professional riders, free taster sessions for women to ride in a safe environment, and free women’s race-specific sessions at events within the South West cross-country mountain bike league. 

The group recently launched one of the most exciting developments in women’s off-road cycling in the past decade: a mountain bike team focused on increasing female participation in off-road cycling, a discipline where men outnumber women four to one. It is now applying for an international racing licence. 

“Cycling UK is a fantastic charity that makes a difference to thousands of lives every day. So the fact we have been recognised for work across the South West is very special. It sets us up for a very special announcement early in 2024,” said Jenny.  

Despite the 2021 census showing there are more women than men in the UK, men are much more likely to cycle regularly than women. Cycling UK wants to show through its annual celebration of these inspiring individuals that cycling can be for all genders, backgrounds and abilities.  

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to get around sustainably, keep fit and have fun outdoors and we want everyone to benefit from the joy of cycling. But in the UK, substantially fewer women ride than men. It’s our mission to reverse that and see equal levels of cycling across all genders.  

“A great way to encourage more women to cycle is to share the stories of amazing women – whether they’re chronicling their adventures on social media, advocating for better infrastructure in their neighbourhoods, inspiring their communities to join them for a ride or winning medals around the world.”