There are usually smaller numbers of women racing in Asia, however with the recent air time given to pro women's racing at La Course by Le Tour de France and Giro Rosa by Giro D'Italia, women's racing continues to grow. More of us that give it a go, the bigger women's cycling will become. Currently, some races start alongside the men's groups creating a mixed peloton (be they the mature kind), others have men’s age group peloton(s) that will inevitably catch the women’s peloton during the stage. If you are fast, be prepared to go with, but if the men are too fast for you, then consider how it will feel when you are spat out the back several kms later, only to sit up and wait for the main group to suck you up.
Teams are cool cos it’s badass to ride with your mates who have matching nail work. No really, it is very cool to be a support rider for your awesome teammates- maybe you're not quite there this year, but give it a try then you'll be ready for next year. It’s fun to work together in the race, playing with team tactics and even better to have some buddies if you fall back and need to hustle it home.
Lastly, if you planning to win- practice the hands off the bars for the photo finish and your podium champagne dance!
Some great races here for.......in the words of Wiggo...... 'descending like a girl'.
Bintan UCI, Indonesia (near Singapore)- rollers and a good mixed group of riders to get you through your first 3-day stage race. A time trial on day one followed by 2 days of badass racing with the men’s pelotons coming through like a steam train. You can race any single day of this event or get all in. Bonus is it’s a UCI qualifier so if it takes your fancy to do it all again later in the year against a tougher field, jump on in!
Chiang Mai Masters, Thailand- wow, they love their hills in Thailand! This is a great 3-day stage race with some controlled starts and various terrains including a time trail up a big hill to a Buddhist monastery that is revered for it’s tranquility. After 40-45mins of pain, I have never even noticed the said monastery or heard any words of wisdom from Buddha and yet I am called back each year for the same suffer-fest!
Niseko Classic UCI, Japan- if the fact that it a ski field in winter does not help elude to the hills then let me tell you, there are some awesome hills and fun descents. This one day race is fast because the field starts together and so the fast women sit in and before you know it you have popped out the back- but it’s beautiful and you often catch those ladies that blew up on the way back in. This is in a beautiful area with so much ice-cream, made by the local happy cows, it’d be rude to miss it off your race calendar.
Tour of Friendship, Thailand- a bigger / longer/ tougher race if you want to chew off a little more. The women's group is growing and looks set to boom with next years plans as a 4-day event including 5 stages- talk about bang for your buck! An individual time trial and various leg zapping stages, all from one place (so no more moving around).
And loads more..... check the race section for details.