Now I may be being slightly controversial here, but I have to say that support within women's road racing in the UK has increased significantly.
Whilst the number of domestic elite men's team are shrinking, indications suggest the ladies scene has grown significantly. To me this is a brilliant demonstration of the effectiveness of marketing. Women's road racing is getting a lot of publicity (even if this publicity is generally women moaning about a lack of support), and accordingly potential sponsors have been quick to the great potential value for money and have got their wallets out.
Whilst this is massively positive, I do believe there is one significant challenge still to overcome and that's in participation numbers. These are still incredibly small, and I can perceive a situation where every regular racing female will soon be a part of a supported team.
Is this good?
Yes and no. Yes, because it means women can race more and better events. No, because it makes the point of entry more daunting for those coming in to the sport. Your first event shouldn't really be against fully sponsored riders, even if they are only a third cat.
I guess what I am saying is that right now the industry is doing the easiest thing... chucking some money at women (to be fair this is what women have asked for), whereas I feel there needs to be more focus on actually bringing more people into the sport in the first place. Discuss IYCBA