13th November 2020 / Comments (0)

New BAME Ultra Distance Scholarship launched for the Pan Celtic Race

BAME Scholarship Ultra Endurance Cloud 9 Pan Celtic Race
There’s no denying that the ultra distance cycling scene is overwhelmingly white. In one of the first initiatives of its kind, Cloud 9 Cycles, VeloQi and the Pan Celtic Race have teamed up to present the Ultra Distance Scholarship, to elevate representation in the discipline of Ultra Distance racing, and to initiate further conversation about diversity and inclusion in the cycling world.

The Ultra Distance Scholarship

The new scholarship, announced today, is for BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) cyclists in Ultra Distance racing, and will be available to a single applicant. Applications are now open here.

The three entities that have collaborated on this scholarship, which offers support that is valued at £10,000, are London based bike shop Cloud 9 Cycles, cycling coach Alison Wood of VeloQi, and the organisers of the UK’s Pan Celtic Race.

When we shared our version of the BLM black square back in June (we’ve learned a lot since then), we said: This is not enough. Our team is white. The cycling world is staggeringly white. We are part of the problem.⁣


It was around the same time we signed the WTF Bikexplorers Cycling Industry Pledge (something that we recommend) and promised to start having more conversations about inclusivity and diversity amongst our small team in the shop…


So when we reached out with these realities and concerns to our partners at the Pan Celtic Race, they were open to making something positive happen.

– Taylor Doyle of Cloud 9 Cycles

The recipient of the scholarship will receive:

  • A custom bike fit at Cloud 9 Cycles by Foundation Fit, specific to ultra-distance racing
  • A custom geo hand built Cloud 9 frame based on their bike fit
  • A fully custom bike build out of the Cloud 9 workshop with high-quality parts, and expertly fitted by their mechanics
  • Reasonable maintenance support from the Cloud 9 workshop for their bike during training and leading up to race day
  • A spot in the Pan Celtic Race 2021, with a choice between the solo short (900 miles/1448 kms) or long (1600 miles/2757 kms) route options
  • Support from the Pan Celtic Race community including invitations to their famous ‘Gatherings’ 
  • Coaching support from Performance Coach Alison Wood of Veloqi from January 2021 to race day in July

I think you can agree, a generous package not to be underestimated!

The Pan Celtic Race

BAME Scholarship Ultra Endurance Cloud 9 Pan Celtic Race

The Pan Celtic Race links three of the Celtic Nations of the UK, which includes two ferries

The Pan Celtic Race 2021 is a 1,600 mile (2,575 km), 100,000 ft (30,480 m), self-supported cycling adventure, journeying through the Celtic Nations of Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and finishing in North Wales.

Race info highlights:

  • Sign on and briefing: 3rd July, 2021. Plymouth. TBC

  • Race start: 4th July, 2021. Maker Heights, Kingsand, Cornwall. TBC

  • Race Finishing Party: Evening of 15th July (TBC), Llandudno, Wales (not mandatory if you’re still riding, but a nice goal!)

  • Fixed route:  Cornwall, Wales, Ireland & Wales based on-road, self-supported

  • Distance: 1600 miles / 2575 km

  • Elevation: 100,000 ft / 30,480 m

  • Duration: 7-14 days

  • Ferries included: Wales-Ireland & Ireland-Wales

  • Shorter route option: 900 miles / 1,448 km & 50,000 ft / 15,240 m

Want a bit more of a taste? Check out the film from the inaugural 2019 edition of the Pan Celtic Race here:


VeloQi cycle coaching

Alison Wood of VeloQi will provide professional performance coaching, using a holistic body and mind approach to improving cycling performance.  Ranging from the new year up until race day in July 2021, Alison’s support, coaching and training will no doubt be incredibly valuable to the recipient of the Ultra Distance Scholarship. Alison is also the first Diversity and Inclusion Officer on the British Cycling Eastern Region board.

Application guidelines

1. Applicants must identify as a member of the BAME community.

2. Applicants must have some base level of cycling ability for safety (if you’re unsure, apply anyways!).

3. Applicants must be available and committed to showing up on race day.

The recipient must be available and able to commit to showing up on race day in July 2021. Recipient must be able to arrange travel to the start on July 3rd in Plymouth, and travel home from Llandudno whenever they finish. As is the spirit of a ‘self-supported’ race, every rider is responsible for themselves and their safety for the duration of the race, including if they decide to cease racing at any point throughout.

Application closes on the 11th December 2020. Please share this great initiative, or pass it on to anyone who you think may be interested. Check out more from Cloud 9 Cycles on why this is so important here.

Last modified: 13th November 2020

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