Bradley Wiggins is backing a new, star-studded women’s cycling team, DTPC Honda Pro Cycling, whose first signings include Team GB’s world and Olympic team pursuit champion trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell as well as double road world champion Giorgia Bronzini from Italy and Australia’s Rochelle Gilmore, Commonwealth road champion, who will lead the outfit.
Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Wiggins had outlined his plans to help finance a women’s team during the summer, but even so the swiftness with which it has been unveiled, and the calibre of the riders signed up to DTPC – which stands for Dream Team Pro Cycling – comes as a surprise.
Among other riders named today as having signed to the team are the young Welsh pair of Elinor Barker – winner of the junior individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands in September – and Amy Roberts.
According to a statement from the team, Wiggins’ investment has been made via his Bradley Wiggins Foundation. "Wiggins's provision of generous support, assistance and encouragement will further enable the girls to fulfil their potential out on the road," it continued.
While Japanese motor giant Honda appears in the name of the team announced today, the statement added that Gilmore is "presently in deep negotiations [over the naming rights] with a global company based in the United Kingdom."
Trott, who besides that team pursuit gold medal also won the Omnium in this summer’s Olympics in London, commented: "I'm excited to be joining the DTPC Honda Pro Cycling Team for the 2013 season and look forward to being part of what I believe will be one of the most professional and most successful teams next year.
"I'm looking forward to gaining more experience on the road with such a great team next year."
While it is the presence of the three British Olympic champions that are likely to make the headlines here, perhaps the team’s biggest coup is in securing the services of Bronzini, winner of the road world championships at Geelong in 2010 and again in Copenhagen 12 months later.
Completing the roster are multiple Japanese national road and time trial champion Mayuko Hagiwara, Australian rider Lauren Kitchen, Italy's Beatrice Bartelloni, Anna-Bianca Scnitzmeier of Germany and New Zealand's Emily Collins.
The team will ride Pinarello bikes equipped with Campognolo groupsets, with other suppliers including Lazer helmets, Fizik, Look, High5 Sports Nutrition and motorhome specialist Vanomobil.
The 29-year-old from Piacenza rode for Diadora-Pasta Zara in 2012, taking a stage win in the Giro della Toscana, and the Italian came fifth in the Olympic road race, won by Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, who had been silver medalist to Bronzini in both her world championship wins.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.