An all-new female pro cycling team was launched today in London. The Wiggle Honda Women's Pro Cycling team is the brainchild Commonwealth Games gold medalist Rochelle Gilmore, and is the result of four years of tenacious effort.
Team Wiggle Honda will support 12 riders in total, with a host of female champions and future talent confirmed. As well as Gilmore herself, the group includes 2012 Olympic trio Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell. Three-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini is also in the lineup, as is seven-time Japanese national champion Mayuko Hagiwara.
As far as competition is concerned, direction for the team will mostly be focused on single-day classic events along with sprint races. Many of the riders will be making a transition from track to road cycling this year, with the ultimate goal being to win as many races as possible without putting too much pressure on the girls.
Rochelle and her teammates have set out to raise the professionalism and perception of women's cycling, and have received backing from both the Bradley Wiggins Foundation and British Cycling along the way. Rochelle's aim is to provide everything necessary for her fellow athletes to perform at their best, something that hasn't always been possible.
Headline sponsors Honda Motor Europe have provided the team with cars, indicating a positive direction for a company that's faced tough times in the recent UK market. Support also comes from a whole host of Wiggle-stocked brands, from Fizik and Muc-Off to Skins.
Rochelle Gilmore's Colnago C59 team bike
The riders will use Colnago C59 bikes in Wiggle's black and orange team livery, while matching kit comes courtesy of Wiggle's in-house clothing brand DHB.
Rochelle will continue to receive support from British Cycling coaches Shane Sutton and Dave Brailsford in order to achieve her goals. In the meantime, BikeRadar will be taking a closer look at her pro bike in the next week, as well as following the progress of the Wiggle Honda team throughout the season.
- Joanna Rowsell (GB) @JoannaRowsell
- Laura Trott (GB) @LauraTrott31
- Dani King (GB) @DaniKing1
- Giorgia Bronzini (ITA) @GiorgiaBronzini
- Elinor Barker (GB) @elinorbarker
- Rochelle Gilmore (AUS) @RochelleGilmore
- Amy Roberts (GB) @AmyRoberts94
- Mayuko Hagiwara (JP)
- Lauren Kitchen (AUS) @LaurenKitchen1
- Beatrice Bartelloni (ITA) @beatricebartell
- Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier (GER) @AnaSchnitzmeier
- Emily Collins (NZ) @EmilyCollins_NZ