Britain’s multiple record-breaker Eileen Sheridan, who blazed a trail for women cyclists in the 1950s, has died aged 99.
Sheridan, described as “Britain’s greatest female cyclist” by Cycling Weekly magazine, was a pioneer long before women were allowed to compete at the world championships or Olympics.
“Eileen was a fearless record breaker and an inspiration to so many who followed her. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time,” British Cycling posted on social media.
Born in Coventry in 1923, Sheridan, the “Mighty Atom”, so nicknamed because of her stature of 1.20 metres, established herself as the finest British amateur of her time.
In 1951 she turned professional for Hercules bicycle company and set 21 records, usually between major cities across the UK.
Sheridan’s record-breaking ability against the clock catapulted her to cycling stardom.
Her 1954 record set between Land’s End and John o’Groats, a ride of almost 900 miles which she completed on less than an hour’s sleep in two days and 11 hours, stood for 36 years, and is second only to Pauline Strong’s mark achieved in 1990.