Female riders are in the spotlight right now. Lucy Glöckner’s battle for the podium galvanized the end of the Bol d’Or last weekend. But she wasn’t the only woman rider to enter the fray. The all-female Girls Racing Team (Amandine Creusot, Jolanda Van Westrenen and Muriel Simorre) finished the race too, and so did Flam Racing’s female rider Margaux Wanham.
Last Sunday also saw young Spanish rider Ana Carrasco become the first woman to win a world championship race (Supersport 300) in Portimão. No doubt about it: women are fast emerging as a force to be reckoned with on the international motorcycle sport scene.
Likewise, Lucy Glöckner made history at the Bol d’Or. Anyone who watched the last half-hour of the race on the Paul Ricard circuit on Sunday 17 September 2017 is unlikely to forget her performance.
Lucy, 27, is a rider for Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC and a familiar face on the Superbike IDM circuit in Germany. She nearly became the first woman to score a podium finish at the Bol d’Or. In the saddle of the BMW #48, Lucy held off 40-year-old Sébastien Gimbert, a three-time winner of the Bol d’Or, riding for factory-backed team Honda Endurance Racing. Sébastien had warm praise for his rival’s tenacity in the course of their thrilling last-minute duel for third place at the Bol d’Or. After the 24-hour race, Lucy lost to the Honda #111 by less than a second.
Five women on the grid at the Bol d’Or
Lucy Glöckner got the lion’s share of the spotlight, but there were four other women at the start and finish of the 81st Bol d’Or. Hats off in particular to the all-female squad Girls Racing Team. Frenchwomen Amandine Creusot and Muriel Simorre alternated stints on the Yamaha #19 with their Dutch teammate Jolanda Van Westrenen, finishing 19th to score points in the FIM EWC for the very first time. Last year, Girls Racing Team finished 23rd at the Bol d’Or.
Frenchwoman Margaux Wanham, who rides for Suzuki Flam Racing with teammates Fabien Lambert and Arnaud Curtolo, also deserves a mention. Her team was 25th past the finish line at the Bol d’Or.
A bit of history
Women have been racing the Bol d’Or since as far back as 1938. The first woman to compete was a Mademoiselle Defer. The following year, a Mademoiselle Mary was the first woman to place 19th at the finish, at a time when people entered the Bol d’Or as solo riders on the Montlhéry racetrack.
Women also compete in the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans. The most noteworthy female rider of that race to date is Frenchwoman Véronique Parisot, who finished just short of the podium in 1988, like Lucy Glöckner last Sunday.