Olympic and world champion Nicole Cooke has signed a deal with online retailer Wiggle and Focus Bikes which will see her new team riding Focus frames this season.
Cooke, who stormed to victory at last summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, has set up Vision1 Racing with the goal of developing the next generation of cyclists in time for London 2012.
She said: “I’ve followed the development of Focus over the past two years and have been impressed with their technology and quality of bikes. I’m really excited to be teaming up with Wiggle and Focus. We’ve chosen our partners carefully because we want to create a really strong image and we’re confident this will be a great partnership.”
The Vision1 riders will use Focus Cayo and Izalco frames for training and racing. Other team sponsors include SRAM, Continental, Ritchey and Haico Wheels.
Maxgear.co.uk will provide compression clothing, helmets, sunglasses, luggage, saddles and pumps. The new brand, based in the North West of England,will be launched at the end of April. They already sponsor the Belgium-based Sean Kelly An Post professional team and British Cycling registered squads Maxgear RT and Sportcity Velo. It is intended that Vision1 will help them with product development.
Cooke said: “I’m looking forward to starting the new season and it will be special in many ways. The new team is like a new beginning for me with its own challenges, and to be in the rainbow jersey as world champ will be amazing.”
The Vision1 team combines young British talents such as Dani King and Katie Curtis with more experienced riders Helen Wyman and Gabby Day. Cooke launched the team in October because she believed it was time to “give something back to the sport” after achieving her cycling dreams.
She said: “I think that by using my experience of the highest level of racing together with the skills and expertise of the support staff we can create a team structure which can make talented British riders part of the strongest team in women’s cycling by 2012.”