Wiggle joins Honda as co-sponsor of women's team backed by Bradley Wiggins

Online retailer gets behind team run by Rochelle Gilmore with host of star names on its roster

by Simon_MacMichael   December 13, 2012  

Wiggle Honda Women's Pro Cycling Team

Online retailer Wiggle has been announced as co-sponsor of the women’s cycling team backed by Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion, Bradley Wiggins. The team, announced last month as DTPC Honda Pro Cycling, will race in 2013 as Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in a striking orange and black kit, also unveiled today. Contrary to what was stated when the team was revealed last month, they will ride Colnago bikes, not rival Italian brand Pinarello.

Team manager and owner Rochelle Gilmore, who is also on the riders’ roster and is reigning Commonwealth road race champion, said that the three-year deal would enable the new outfit to go some way towards redressing the huge imparity between salaries offered to women riders and what their male counterparts can earn.

“Women have traditionally ridden for contracts as little as one-tenth of what the men earn,” explained the 30-year-old Australian.
“If you want to get the best out of an athlete you need to provide them with what they need—and all too often funding shortfalls mean women cyclists are not provided what they need.

“Our team philosophy is all about the athletes. The deal with Wiggle.co.uk enables us to provide better salaries and the supportive environment our athletes deserve and need so they can reach their full potential.”

The team blends experience – besides Gilmore, riders include two-time world road champion Giorgia Bronzini – with youth, Great Britain’s world and Olympic champion pursuit trio of Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott being the pick of the young talent.

Wiggle, valued at £180 million when it was sold in December last year, continues to go from strength to strength, clocking up sales of £118.6 million in its latest financial year with impressive sales growth of 53 per cent over the previous 12 months.

During 2011, some £50 million of sales were generated overseas, with international sales growing at nearly 300 per cent year-on-year. Sponsorship of the team is certain to raise its profile internationally.

Chief Executive Humphrey Cobbold said: “Wiggle is all about providing the best.

“It’s a privilege to support Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling. We look forward to playing a pivotal role in supporting this tremendous group of athletes and hope that our partnership will motivate future female cycling champions the world over.”

Besides its name appearing on the jersey, Wiggle will also be supplying it via its dhb brand, as part of a full range of kit that will also comprise luggage.

Adam Ryan, Wiggle’s head of brand marketing, explained: “The development team for the dhb brand and I are excited to be working so closely with these incredible athletes to ensure we are producing the best possible apparel to suit their needs.

“We expect to learn from their experiences at competing and winning at the highest level in professional cycling to help improve our dhb customer offering even further from its already well-established position as one of the world’s leading cycling apparel brands.”

Laura Trott, winner of two golds at London 2012 – besides the team pursuit, she also won the omnium, commented: “We are very privileged to have the support of Wiggle – a global project which has the aspiration to raise the professionalism of women’s cycling.”

Fellow Team GB gold medalist Bradley Wiggins, who is supporting the team through his Bradley Wiggins Foundation, said: “I have personally been a Wiggle customer for years and look forward to working closely with the team to ensure that the athletes are well looked after throughout the season.”

The launch of the team with its high-profile roster of riders and sponsors is undoubtedly good news for the women’s side of the sport on the road, which all too often faces struggles to attract sponsorship and media coverage.

It also comes just a week after it was revealed that its highest profile stage race, the Giro Donne, faces an uncertain future after the organisers of the last three editions of the race, which was first run in 1988 and after a break in 1992 and 1993 has featured in the calendar for each of the past 20 years, decided to end their involvement after the expiry this year of their agreement with the Italian cycling federation, which owns the race.

Sara Brambilla of the company concerned, Epinike, told the Dutch website WeilerRevue: “We’ve had a very positive experience, but now we’re concentrating on other things. The feeling is that we’ve had some really lovely Giri in the past few years, but they’ve been a bit hard for all of the girls.”

Even if a successor to Epinike can be found, Italian website Cicloweb reports that chances are very slim that next year’s edition, scheduled for 28 June to 7 July, can be held, adding that the race’s future is likely to depend on the outcome of elections to the presidency of the Italian cycling federation in January.
 

14 user comments

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Those are some sweet looking kits

new-to-cycling's picture

posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
13th December 2012 - 3:24

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Great to see some high profile names getting behind women's cycling.

posted by sunburnt [6 posts]
13th December 2012 - 8:36

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Great to see Wiggle getting involved in women's racing, especially going for a 3-year deal.

Hopefully it might have the added benefit of them reconsidering their excruciatingly bad MAMIL TV ads!

posted by thereandbackagain [152 posts]
13th December 2012 - 9:14

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Aaaah maybe that might explain why Wiggle dropped a lot of their other supported athletes like Matt Page!

posted by maboyctu [12 posts]
13th December 2012 - 9:22

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Yes, I also wondered if that was why Matt was dropped. Spoke to him very briefly a few years ago when he organised the UK singlespeed champs in his back yard. A great event and a nice guy. Hopefully we will find something else.

Great for the women though, they are need of support.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [436 posts]
13th December 2012 - 10:34

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Great news, go girls.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2922 posts]
13th December 2012 - 11:19

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Awesome, its all changing and a million times for the better.

posted by mick intherain [14 posts]
13th December 2012 - 12:30

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new-to-cycling wrote:
Those are some sweet looking kits

You did say kits didn't you...?

gazpacho's picture

posted by gazpacho [80 posts]
13th December 2012 - 12:44

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new-to-cycling wrote:
Those are some sweet looking kits

They're just orange Team Sky kits!

I'd assume Wiggle are fairly confident women's cycling will be picking up more TV coverage in the UK in 2013, which can only be a good thing!

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
13th December 2012 - 13:14

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Attractive women in Lycra - A sponsor called "Wiggle", my head is doing punning somersaults...

On a serious note, it's great that there is a team redressing the lack of parity between the men's and women's wages, but how long before there is a team to redress the wage balance between Wiggle Honda and every other womens team?

posted by farrell [1278 posts]
13th December 2012 - 13:48

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CraigS wrote:
new-to-cycling wrote:
Those are some sweet looking kits

They're just orange Team Sky kits!

Aside from the fact that they aren't in the slightest, I agree.

posted by andyp [796 posts]
13th December 2012 - 14:44

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Brilliant stuff, well done Wiggle

posted by mikeprytherch [204 posts]
13th December 2012 - 14:59

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at last Smile

posted by mandy [83 posts]
13th December 2012 - 23:16

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Cool Well said great kits!!

Scott A. Harkins

scottharkins1971's picture

posted by scottharkins1971 [17 posts]
21st December 2012 - 6:53

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