Robin Miller: W Series is a success. Is it time for an all-female bike class? - Bikesport News

Robin Miller: W Series is a success. Is it time for an all-female bike class?

Competitors in the all-female single-seat W Series took home more than £1m in prize money from the final round at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

And Jamie Chadwick, a 21-year-old from Bath, who finished fourth in the race, did enough to be crowned champion after six rounds, racing alongside DTM across Europe. She won more than £400,000.

It was the first championship of its kind for women, driving cars with 270 horsepower, turbocharged Alfa Romeo engines, and while attracting huge amounts of sponsorship money and media coverage it also received criticism, particularly from some other women drivers.

Like our own Maria Costello and Jenny Tinmouth, they did not like the idea of segregation in the belief that women should be able to compete with men and, if given the opportunity, they would.

It is a belief shared by the winner, who is also a test driver for Williams, but after saying that she hoped the W Series would not exist in five years time and women would be competing against men in F1, she gratefully banked the cheque.

The fact is that women rarely get the opportunity they deserve in racing bikes, cars or even horses. Women jockeys have made great strides recently but a proposal that they are allowed to carry lighter weights than their male rivals is causing another controversy. When they do, like Spain’s Ana Carrasco they can win world championships against men.

But the W Series, whatever its critics say, has advanced the cause of women drivers through the coverage it received. Isn’t it time we had one for women riders?

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