by Isabel Best
Queens of Pain is the remarkable and largely unknown tale of women’s cycle racing from the 1890’s to the 1990’s.
From the fin-de-siècle velodromes of North America to the glamour and chaos of the first women’s Tour de France, Queens of Pain offers a sweeping panorama of female racing history.
Told through the lives of the great champions, its heroines include stunt women and speed skaters, young mothers and teenage tearaways, shop assistants and coal-delivery girls.
When prejudice and officialdom denied them one stage they found another: from six-day track racing to epic place to place records, from 12-hour time trials to unofficial road races.
The greatly expanded women’s racing scene of today is the direct legacy of these pioneering riders whose stories form an unbroken thread since the invention of the bicycle.
Created by Bluetrain Publishing and published by Rapha Editions