Team CTC will race in UK and abroad and aims to raise profile of women's cycling...

National cyclists’ charity CTC has launched an elite women’s team that will compete in races at home and abroad, with the prime aim of supporting women’s cycling.

The team will be launched at the London Bike Show on Saturday, and will comprise six core riders of elite, category 1 and category 2 status, and there will also be scope for up to two guest names to ride for it as and when needed.

Besides competing in the National Women’s Road Series, Team CTC will also take part in UCI ranked races abroad, while riders will also act as ambassadors to help encourage more women to get riding and boost the profile of female cycling.

CTC says that currently, one in four of its 69,000 members are female.

Gordon Seabright, CTC’s chief executive, commented: “I’m delighted to announce that the 2013 season will see a CTC-backed elite women’s team take to the road.

“There’s clearly an imbalance in the sport, especially when it comes to funding the women’s side. We want to show by actions and not just by words that we support women’s cycling.

“We’re hoping that CTC’s support will translate into inspiring more women to take up cycling. Getting women riding for sport or leisure is of course doubly important as women often are the ones encouraging the next generation to cycle, cementing a lasting legacy for women’s cycling in the UK.”

The team will ride N7even frames supplied by Merlin Cycles, with additional kit including clothing provided by Madison, and is also backed by cycle insurance firm Butterworth Spengler as well as Green Energy UK.

The latter’s CEO, Doug Stewart, said: “Being involved in the CTC Women’s Cycling Team for 2013 is an exciting prospect. With the recent publicity surrounding the Olympics and the rise in the popularity of the sport, it is a good time to launch a professional women’s team.

“Cycling is one of our passions, having taken up a number of challenges for charity ourselves we thought this was the ideal venture to support. We look forward to starting the 2013 calendar and seeing the green energy CTC Women’s Cycling Team cross the finish line first!”

“Butterworth Spengler has been providing specialist insurance cover for cyclists and cycle retailers for over 25 years and we are delighted to support the CTC Women’s Cycling Team in 2013,” added Phillip Coffey, a director of the insurance business.

“The increased interest in the sport and the strong performances of women riders makes it an ideal time to get involved  - both to help talented women athletes and to inspire more women to cycle.

“With cycling being such a central part of our activities, supporting and following what we are sure will be a winning CTC team will make it a very exciting 2013!”

The team will be unveiled on Saturday between 1pm and 1.30pm, when we’ll find out who the riders are, and more information about the London Bike Show can be found on the event website.

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.