Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling Team launch

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

by David Arthur   January 25, 2013  

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

42 user comments

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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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posted by koko56 [312 posts]
25th January 2013 - 21:24

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I hope they're paying them a decent salary and bonus scheme.

posted by Arthur Scrimshaw [44 posts]
25th January 2013 - 21:39

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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. Smile

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
25th January 2013 - 22:03

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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.

Strax

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posted by jdstrachan@yaho... [53 posts]
25th January 2013 - 22:45

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

posted by Gero [16 posts]
25th January 2013 - 23:21

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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. Thinking

Michael R. Smith

posted by American tifosi [37 posts]
25th January 2013 - 23:28

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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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posted by David Arthur [1415 posts]
25th January 2013 - 23:40

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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.

posted by tombarr [17 posts]
26th January 2013 - 0:02

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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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posted by andyspaceman [213 posts]
26th January 2013 - 0:15

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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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posted by aslongasicycle [290 posts]
26th January 2013 - 11:51

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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.

posted by bashthebox [619 posts]
26th January 2013 - 12:06

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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. Thinking

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

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

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posted by aslongasicycle [290 posts]
26th January 2013 - 12:24

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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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posted by gazpacho [80 posts]
26th January 2013 - 12:29

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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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posted by David Arthur [1415 posts]
26th January 2013 - 13:45

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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. Thinking

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

posted by Abbie [33 posts]
26th January 2013 - 14:51

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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.

posted by comm88 [72 posts]
26th January 2013 - 17:04

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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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posted by aslongasicycle [290 posts]
26th January 2013 - 18:32

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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.

posted by FMOAB [229 posts]
26th January 2013 - 19:33

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omg, would you just look at that, I'm drooling here,
so pretty, wish I'd been there
I mean, just look at those BIKES!
wish I had one Wink

glad to see more backers for womens cycling, if only we had more COVERAGE! that's what'll bring in the money!

posted by VeNT [36 posts]
26th January 2013 - 19:39

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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.
'

Palmares and photo NOW please. Then we can decide if you have any idea what you're going on about or not.

posted by andyp [803 posts]
26th January 2013 - 20:24

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FMOAB wrote:
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.

Nicely done Smile

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
26th January 2013 - 20:33

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One of the things that bothers athletes is looking like some purebred beast that isn't attractive outside of sporting interests. This bothers the fellas less because serious muscle tone looks masculine. (I wouldnt like thighs like greg forstemann, but if I did have, I'd be chuffed if girls went 'phroah' and not 'ugh, freaky legs') Females usually still would like to be attractive. Would anyone here really be bothered if females cyclists remarked that you were attractive?

Put another way, are there any gay lads on this forum that admire the males? Someone remarked the other day that Cav (I think) was dishy. Don't know what gender the poster was, but regardless, I don't think anyone kicked up a fuss about that. Provided it doesn't cross a line, I suspect the ladies would take it as a compliment.

Go girls, ride it like you stole it. Good luck.

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

posted by notfastenough [2945 posts]
26th January 2013 - 20:44

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You people act like cavemen. Why all the sudden hostility? Because of the gals? Yes, sure they are beautiful and fit but all this "territorial behaviour" is quite unnecessary as it's not very likely that you stood a chance. If you know what I mean Wink

posted by Giusto [11 posts]
26th January 2013 - 21:52

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Hope the track riders make a good transition to road. Have to say I find the kit is rather drab but the bikes however are drop dead gorgeous. Look forward to seeing coverage on mainstream TV.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [122 posts]
26th January 2013 - 23:55

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To all of the women - and some men, it seems - who have since posted to my post - you really are a sad, sad lot. Honestly - grow up. You really have nothing to say and frankly nothing worth hearing. And I DEFINITELY do not need your advice on what is and what is not "appropriate behaviour". As a good friend once said: Just because you're ugly there's no need to come out and frighten people with it. Your comments are both small-minded and ugly. End of.

posted by comm88 [72 posts]
26th January 2013 - 23:59

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I think that's a worthy footnote. Coruscating wit and irony shut us down.

One request: Would you mind posting an image and location on here so women know where to find company when walking at night?
Cheers mate.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

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posted by aslongasicycle [290 posts]
27th January 2013 - 9:55

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comm88, perhaps read this and get some perspective, you twit. Do I think Laura Trott complains when she gets wolf whistled in the street? Yes, I think she probably does, like most other women when faced with people like you.

http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2012-12-a-letter-...

posted by TomvanHalen [33 posts]
27th January 2013 - 13:45

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koko56 wrote:
So it's completely fine to look at women's volleyball that way

No. No, it isn't. Not sure why you thought I and others might think that.

Quote:
Get over it, bro.

"Brogramming" is a relatively new but useful coinage. Maybe we need a bike equivalent. Bro cycling?

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posted by Doctor Fegg [131 posts]
27th January 2013 - 15:09

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aslongasicycle wrote:
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. Thinking

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

Must be. "Nutritionist" gives it away.

(Goldacre demolishes that word, with the help of Dara O'Briain, here - http://bit.ly/10IOlI3

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posted by PJ McNally [580 posts]
27th January 2013 - 15:37

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The best news in cycling since sky, well done everyone involved.

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posted by SportsTrophyCo [3 posts]
28th January 2013 - 15:14

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