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Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott star in brand new team launched today in London

Is this the future of women’s cycling?

Based on the enthusiasm clearly evident at the launch of the exciting new Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling Team, held today at the Millbank Tower in central London in front of the UK media, you’d be forgiven for thinking so.

It’s early days, but there’s been much excitement since details were first revealed about this new gathering of the best women racing cyclists in the world right now. With a squad of 14 women that reads like a who’s who of women racers, including Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, the undisputed queens of the track at the Olympics last summer, there’s a real depth of talent running right through the team. They’re going to be an unstoppable force on the road this season, that much is clear.

The team is the work of reigning Commonwealth road race champion Rochelle Gilmore, who owns and manages the team. All that and she will be racing too. She describes bringing together what some are calling the ‘dream team’ as a labour of love for the past four years. “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point,” she says, “but really the hard work is to be done on the road this season, to achieve what we’ve set out to do.”

It’s taken the last four years to get to this position where she’s been able to attract to top-line sponsors and a star studded lineup. She’s very clear on why she’s set out to create this team, and tells of a turning point last year that reinforced her view that women’s cycling is inadequately supported and given the respect it deserves.

“Last year there was one incident that reminded me I need to take this step. And that was one day when the team I was with had the athletes travel from Italy to Belgium, I think it took them 13 hours, and they arrived after midnight. The next day they were expected to perform at world class level and unfortunately for them they didn’t on the day. The answers for me were right there why they didn’t perform, but the directors of the team couldn’t understand, and blamed it on their previous training methods.

“I was 100% convinced the girls were in top form and they were let down in the last 24-hours by logistical reasons.” Reasons, she says, were difficult for her to see and really hard to accept. “They didn’t get the best out of themselves that day.”

Her aim, simply, is to give the women the opportunity to do their best on the day. It’s about giving them the support, the environment, the advice, they need to perform at the highest level.

It’s widely reported that women’s cycling is woefully and embarrassingly under supported and funded when compared to the men’s racing. There is very little money, both in the budgets the team have to look after the riders and provide the top level sport they need to compete on the world stage, and in also in the wages and prize money they receive. The team declined to divulge details of the budget they have for the season, but we’re betting it’s sufficient to have an impact on the running of women’s teams.

Women’s cycling, more than ever, is on the agenda this year. Following a fantastic London 2012 Olympics, where female athletes were the undoubted stars of the show, there’s many searching questions being asked of the portrayal and backing for, not just women’s cycling, but all female sports. The playing field needs to be level.

Could this team be the turning point? On its own, probably not, but it’s a significant step in the right direction. Many eyes, both within the sport and outside, will be on this fledgling group of riders as they embark on the most exciting step in their careers.

The team:

Giorgia Bronzini
Laura Trott
Joanna Rowsell
Dani King
Rochelle Gilmore
Elinor Barker
Lauren Kitchen
Mayuko Hagiwara
Emily Collins
Amy Roberts
Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier
Beatrice Bartelloni

Staff:

Director Sportif: Simon Cope
Mechanic: Adam Nordmeyer
PR Manager: Myfanwy Galloway
Photographer: Bart Hazen
Soigneur / Masseur: Kristof Van Campenhout

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

42 comments

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Gkam84 [9089 posts] 3 years ago
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SOOOOO many lovelies in one place, I would have died if I had been there, but died happy.

Were there any freebies floating around, I've been at Rochelle and the team all week for something for the auction  19

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David Arthur @d... [699 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

Were there any freebies floating around, I've been at Rochelle and the team all week for something for the auction  19

Gave me a Honda baseball cap, which you're welcome to

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Stu1903 [11 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll take Laura Trott in an auction any day!  3

Looking good gals and all the best for the forthcoming season!

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jackh [121 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks good, best of luck with the new season girls!

Props to Wiggle and Honda for sponsoring this and of course the hard work of Rochelle Gilmore.

Perhaps all that is needed now is for ITV4 to weigh in and say they wil give live or even highlighted coverage of a couple of day races this year?

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Doctor Fegg [143 posts] 3 years ago
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Could we please do without the "lovelies" and winks... please? It's really ever so demeaning. They're here because they're good cyclists.

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

SOOOOO many lovelies in one place, I would have died if I had been there, but died happy.

Were there any freebies floating around, I've been at Rochelle and the team all week for something for the auction  19

Sorry, but pathetic and sad comments

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Stu1903 wrote:

I'll take Laura Trott in an auction any day!  3

Looking good gals and all the best for the forthcoming season!

Regrettably for you, she's already spoken for by the very talented and all round good guy, Jason Kenny. Otherwise, I'm sure that your undoubted charms would win the day.  37

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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Sweet mother of Jesus lawd awmighty god!

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pwake [388 posts] 3 years ago
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It seems like the biggest hurdle this team will face is pursuing a meaningful race calendar; the womens calendar is pretty woeful really and shame on the UCI & ASO for their piss poor attitude to womens racing.
If you look at the mens calendar, like it or not, the TDF is THE big race and until there is a resumption of the Tour Feminin and TV coverage alongside the mens race it will be difficult for womens racing to make an impact on the scale to bring it near parity with the guys.

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theclaw [73 posts] 3 years ago
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Another occasion where I agree with Sam1. Guys, these girls are athletes, there is no need to lear over them from behind a computer like this is some kind of beauty parade. Promoting womens cycling is fantastic and it has nothing to do with looks - get over it. Get over yourselves. They deserve good salaries, good support and good teams because they are dedicated, end of story. Kudos to Wiggle and Humphrey for supporting them - a lot of people give online business' a whole load of grief but how many of them have stuck their hand in their pockets and done anything other than support a bunch of old gits racing around an old airfield. Ahead of their time (well, not quite, but ahead of the rest of them anyway), they will rightly reap the rewards if this encourages women's participation in the sport.  1

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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Congratulations and well wishes for the future to the newly formed : Wiggle Honda - Ladies Cycle Racing Team.

This is certainly a step in the right direction. Go get the results you deserve. Best wishes for the future.

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maxburgoyne [33 posts] 3 years ago
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Leering is undignified but it is important that the athletes are 'attractive'. Not for dirty-old-men but for young women - teenage girls will not pursue a sport they consider masculine or devoid of glamour. So many drop out at 14 - 16 years when they are lost by the sport but also fail to pick up the life-long benefits that exercise brings.

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow take it easy with the serious faces.

So it's completely fine to look at women's volleyball that way but cycling "Oh noes", we be all respecteful n shit.

Get over it, bro.

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Arthur Scrimshaw [67 posts] 3 years ago
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I hope they're paying them a decent salary and bonus scheme.

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Dr. Ko [192 posts] 3 years ago
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It is not about the ladies: Nice team bikes.

I like it when they run on the same day as the men, it is like getting two races for the waiting time of one.  1

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 3 years ago
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maxburgoyne wrote:

Leering is undignified but it is important that the athletes are 'attractive'. Not for dirty-old-men but for young women - teenage girls will not pursue a sport they consider masculine or devoid of glamour. So many drop out at 14 - 16 years when they are lost by the sport but also fail to pick up the life-long benefits that exercise brings.

Max couldnt agree more, what fantastic role models, especially for British girls to have.

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Gero [18 posts] 3 years ago
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The rider you didn't name is called Amy Roberts.
Standing next to Jo Rowsell.
Great reporting. Not.

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American tifosi [38 posts] 3 years ago
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Not to rain on everyone's party, but they could use a nutritionist and weight control program. Their physiques don't represent that of a competitive cyclist.  39

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David Arthur @d... [699 posts] 3 years ago
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Gero wrote:

The rider you didn't name is called Amy Roberts.
Standing next to Jo Rowsell.
Great reporting. Not.

I listed all the riders at the bottom of the article, including Amy

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tombarr [17 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS... 2013 and misogynist cnuts still think it's ok to churn out this shite. Mmmm... Lovely laydeez! I wonder why women's racing isn't been taken seriously.

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andyspaceman [246 posts] 3 years ago
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How did this article get written and published without any mention of Giorgia Bronzini?

Fabulous to see serious budgets and professional organisation coming to women's cycling, and totally appropriate that the team attract that kind of talent. But Olympic track palmares count for nil on the road.

And consigned to an anonymous footnote is the two-time world road champion.

Would anyone report on a BMC team launch and forget to mention Phillipe Gilbert?

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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That's a troll right Michael? You couldn't be serious, because that'd make you look really silly? Yep? But I'll bite.
Women have a higher body fat percentage than men. These are some of the greatest athletes in cycling. They would DESTROY you.
Tatty bye x.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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Really hope we can get some womens' racing alongside the mens' coverage this yeah. Unlikely, but I guess having a really solid, hopefully successful British team will encourage media outlets to devote more time to this side of the sport in the UK at the very least.

Some of the comments here make really sad reading, by the way. I thought cycling attracted people who had a little more respect for each other. I think it would be best if the misogyny was eliminated and a little more respect was shown to women athletes.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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American tifosi wrote:

Not to rain on everyone's party, but they could use a nutritionist and weight control program. Their physiques don't represent that of a competitive cyclist.  39

I've decided this is extremely clever satire. It couldn't be anything else.

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gazpacho [99 posts] 3 years ago
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Miss Trott could have worn the same trainers as everyone else!

And I'm not leering... honestly.

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David Arthur @d... [699 posts] 3 years ago
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gazpacho wrote:

Miss Trott could have worn the same trainers as everyone else!

Trott is sponsored by Adidas, the team are sponsored by Nike

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Abbie [59 posts] 3 years ago
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American tifosi wrote:

Not to rain on everyone's party, but they could use a nutritionist and weight control program. Their physiques don't represent that of a competitive cyclist.  39

Ahem They ARE competitive cyclists. They are Women. Shaped like Women. Won Gold Medals SHAPED like WOMEN. Jeeezus

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comm88 [76 posts] 3 years ago
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To all of the female responders who are so desperately dosed up on Political Correctness and what is and what is not permissible in this "repressed" age where no one dare say anything remotely complimentary to any female for fear of getting sued - please get off your soap boxes!!! To most of us blokes, it's boring, offensive and unnecessary!

Do you really think these girls mind being ogled at and admired for their obvious sexual charm and physical beauty????? Really???? You need to see someone.

Many of the team are stunningly attractive and they work so hard to be great athletes and manage to look good to boot. They deserve to be admired and feted and - like it or not - men will find them highly desirable. Live with it and for Christ's sake stop carping.

Pendleton never ever hid her light under bushel. Dya really think Laura Trott complains when she gets wolf whistled while on her bike, or in the street? Will Jo Rowsell kick up a fuss when someone tells her she's pretty?? - and she is!

Nothing that guys have posted here is offensive. That's the mark and that's the line.

BIG UP for the ladies. I think it's fantastic and I really hope it moves Ladies Pro Cycling to a whole new level - without, of course, the wholly wrong and absolutely unnecessary lascivious lust. So steady on boys - admire them nicely as attractive professional athletes and keep lewdness in its proper place. And that ain't here.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a chap actually. I find women very attractive. In fact, I'm married to one and I think she's WELL FIT.
But these are racing cyclists and their attractiveness is smashing, but not the point. When you walk into into a meeting to talk profit and loss,are people there to admire your perfectly sculpted moobs or your acumen? Well maybe both (phoarrr) but the acumen is the one you should be judged on.

But hell, you think wolf whistling is ok, so trying to explain is probably a bit pointless. X

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FMOAB [267 posts] 3 years ago
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Comm88, if you comments are serious, you really need to get a grip of yourself.

Actually, perhaps you do, that would explain the tone of them.

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