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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.