Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Cookson hoping to lead Lancashire cycling boom via elite women's team

Wants to put home county “firmly on the cycling map”

Former president of the UCI, Brian Cookson, has announced plans to set up a new international women’s cycling team based in Lancashire. Perhaps with one eye on developments east of the Pennines, he expressed his hope that the move might lead to a cycling boom in the county.

“To create a Lancashire based women’s cycle team that’s the best in the world would be a fantastic flagship for sport in Lancashire,” said Cookson. “The move would not only put Lancashire firmly on the cycling map but could revolutionise women’s cycling.”

He told the Lancashire Evening Post that he is looking to raise five to seven million pounds a year through sponsorship, and said of the riders: “They will be paid properly. In most cases women are riding in effect as amateurs. Very few make a living out of it. We want to raise the bar in every sense and make sure the team are resourced with the right coaching, the right medical support. I think there’s a sea change in attitudes to women’s sport.”

Elaborating on the possible local impact, he said: “The team would be based in Lancashire administratively and corporately, but it will be an international team. I’m hoping UCLan will get involved as they’ve a great sports department and a great materials and technology department that can help with equipment and bikes.”

He added: “Maybe we should use some of the expertise developed for the defence industry for a beneficial activity and industry that can improve the health of citizens of this area and the rest of world as well.”

County councillor David Whipp cited Barnoldswick’s Hope Technology as an example of this.

“The Hope success has built on expertise built up in the aerospace industry,” he said. “We’ve two very different types of transport where they are using the same skills, the same technologies to create these top quality cycling components. The same technologies are used for the manufacture of cutting edge jet engines by companies like Rolls Royce.”

As well as manufacturing parts, the company provides occasional training sessions through its Hope Academy scheme and has long-term plans to build a velodrome.

Lancashire County Council will next month consider a new strategy aiming to double the number of people cycling in the county.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


Nick T | 6 years ago

Ever the dreamer

Awavey | 6 years ago

so hes still talking about just "TRYING to set up a team", look I wish him the best of luck but there are lots of people trying to set up Women's cycling teams and they dont get the same coverage they need, or the support from the governing bodies they should.

StraelGuy | 6 years ago
1 like

Agree 100%, especially Manchester. The roads are absolutely appalling.

Zebulebu | 6 years ago

Be an idea to start policing the fucking roads properly if they want t to double the number of cyclists. I rode into Manchester today from Wigan - got the usual contact high from about one in ten cars, had three morons almost pull straight into me turning across and literally lost count of the number of drivers on their phones after 24 of them. Fixing the roads might help as well. The A6 had more gravel on it than Strade bastard Bianchi, and potholes so deep I saw Tom Daley climb out of one

Latest Comments