Meet the truly inspirational Afghan women's national cycling team

This is Malika Yousufi, the captain of Afghanistan's women's national cycling team, a group breaking new ground for women's sport and women in general in the conservative Muslim country.

Under Taliban rule, Afghan women were excluded from every aspect of public life, including going to school or even going outside without a male relative.

But while the men's cricket and football teams have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years, sportswomen have experienced further attempts to obstruct them, from their families and the public.

The women's cricket team was broken up last year due to new Taliban threats, but the cycling team is determined to carry on.

In order to train its members have to travel to the roads outside Kabul, but still drivers shout abuse at them while Malika suffered a back injury when a man on a motorbike tried to grab her.

She is undeterred, however, in her desire to become the first Afghan woman to compete in the Tour de France.

"Nothing will stop us," she said.

(Pictures: Reuters)

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