Could Team Sky be about to run a women's team?

Wiggle Honda owner says Brailsford and Wiggins have been watching their women's progress closely

by Sarah Barth   March 30, 2013  

Wiggle Honda Women's Pro Cycling Team

Team Sky could be about to announce an interest in running a women's pro cycling team alongside their highly successful men's outfit, according to the owner of Wiggle Honda.

Rochelle Gilmore, the owner of Wiggle Honda, floated the idea that Sky might be close to making the much-anticipated move, having been giving enormous amounts of financial and administrative support behind the scenes.

She told the Guardian: "Sky want to be involved in this project, or a project, and if everything goes well here I wouldn't be surprised if they got involved."

"We are very much involved with the men's Sky team, we just don't have Sky on our jerseys. I rely on them for advice and guidance, I update them on email every week and get feedback on decisions and possible problems.

"When Dave [Brailsford] gives me advice with such passion it motivates me. I think this year the programme we have at Wiggle Honda is a bit of a trial, to see how the organisation runs."

Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell were all signed up by Wiggle Honda following their London Olympic successes.

Rowsell said: "What I've found since the Olympics is that a lot more people are following women's cycling and are getting excited about it. I'm always getting messages on Twitter saying: 'Is your race on TV?' and I'm, like: 'Sorry, not a chance in hell.'

"You can't force people to be fans of the sport but I think it would be great if our races were on TV because then people could follow us. It's frustrating when you watch a men's race all afternoon on Eurosport and no women, especially when there are races like the Tour of Flanders which is on the same course, on the same day."

Lizzie Armitstead, who joined the Boels-Dolmans cycling team for the 2013 season, has previously called on Sky to support a women's squad, although she said she was looking forward to her future with her new team.

"I've been told before that if they wanted a women's Team Sky they would only have to tighten up on logistics and flights," she explained. "But I'm not fighting for a women's Team Sky.

"I'm very happy where I am and I get great opportunities, so if there was a women's Team Sky the last thing I want people to say is 'oh well, you've been asking for a women's Team Sky and you're not going there', because that's probably what would happen - I probably wouldn't go."

King has also voiced the view that women's cycling could be as popular as men's. She said: "Women's cycling just needs more coverage. They should run races alongside the men's. The more coverage and the more people see that women's racing is exciting and it will be a snowball effect."

5 user comments

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Come on Sky... sort it, would be brilliant

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
30th March 2013 - 22:25

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What would be far better is if Sky set up and brought riders through to another team, and there was some proper competition. If a combined WiggleSkyHonda start winning all the races then why would any other team bother turning up? It's clearly hard enough for womens' teams to get sponsorship, if they're being beaten every week then it'll be even harder.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [871 posts]
30th March 2013 - 23:15

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Other than having the name 'Sky' on the jersey what difference does it make? At present WIGGLE HONDA are one of the best funded,best supported, most professional Women's teams in the game. I fact I would see Sky as a sponsor being detrimental as their time would have to be divided & lets face it the men's team will always take precedence, and being a women's team as an 'off shoot' of a guys team doesn't seem to do much for raising the profile - does anyone automatically think of Women's teams when you hear Rabobank or GreenEdge? No, the men's team overshadows them even though both feature arguably more successful women than men - especially Vos! Yet Wiggle Honda is instantly identifiable as a Women's team.

posted by sethpistol [31 posts]
31st March 2013 - 1:17

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Great to have a UK based womans cycling team; and I'd love to see more womens cycling televised.

So Good to hear that Wiggle-Honda ladies are doing well; and producing results. Brilliant!

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
31st March 2013 - 9:15

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Nice to see Wiggle-Honda getting plenty of column inches and the increasing possibility of a women's team for Sky.

But this is not going to mean much when the cycling media can't even bother to mention the big women's races. Like the women's Tour of Flanders, Grand Prix de Dottignies or the Trofeo Binda.

And did you know there was a women's Tour of Qatar? Thought not.

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posted by Simon E [1979 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 22:10

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