Women's pro cycling team Podium Ambition have signed a deal that sees Boardman Bikes become their official bike supplier for two years.
Podium Ambition Pro Cycling team powered by Club La Santa, to give them their full title, consists of 14 riders including cycling luminaries such as Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell-Shand and British and European track champion Katie Archibald.
The UCI pro women's team will have access to the Boardman Elite Women's Range, which includes endurance, aero and time-trial models.
With the new UCI Women's WorldTour for 2016, which comes with it an expectation of increased coverage of pro women's road cycling, and the upcoming Rio Olympics, it seems a good move for a brand that has already established Olympic pedigree – Storey took road time trial gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics on a Boardman.
Team director Barney Storey said: "It's no secret we are a huge fan of Boardman Bikes in our household. When the opportunity came to discuss our professional team plans with Boardman Bikes it was clear from the start the synergy of our ambitions and work ethic were of the same high standards. Boardman have developed their range of bikes and continued to research and improve them since they started in 2007 and in our short history we have also followed this path of always looking for ways to make ourselves better.
Storey added: "Being able to fit our team out with this impressive range of bikes is an exciting prospect, and I am looking forward to seeing them in action as we take to the professional peloton for the first time. As a team we will be proud to roll out on a women’s range that is the first we’ve found to show no compromise on the performance qualities of the frameset.”
The brand was founded and named for Olympic and world champion Chris Boardman, who remains an integral part of the company. “As a company we love what Podium Ambition are trying to achieve and we are delighted to be able to do our part to help some very talented riders," said Boardman. "I’m looking forward to supporting them and watching the team race. Although this is a two-year arrangement, we intend this to be only the start of a long term partnership.”
Boardman, which also sells its Performance range through Halfords and Cycle Republic stores in the UK, has established itself as a popular choice among cyclists from beginner to advanced level. The Elite range is the pinnacle of its product line, and is sold through high-end independent retailers in UK, USA and worldwide.
The Boardman Elite women's range
The Podium Ambition Pro Cycling Team will have their pick of bikes from the new Boardman Elite women's range. This includes the AIR Women's, produced with C10 carbon frame, aerodynamic frame design, Shimano Dura-Ace with SLK carbon crankset and Boardman AIR Elite Five Wheelset. Also on offer to the team will be the Women's SLR Endurance (disc or rim brake models), another carbon framed steed with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Boardman SLR Elite Five wheelset.
The team are also aiming for the World Championship team time trial, and will have their choice of of the Boardman Elite ATT and TTE carbon-framed time trial bikes.
Andy Smallwood, Boardman's managing director, explained why the brand has decided to move into sponsorship of a pro women's team. “We have been looking for a way back into professional team sponsorship and the professionalism, ambition and rider roster of Podium Ambition made working with Sarah and the team a logical decision, the connection with the team will also give us a valuable resource in our continuous process of product development," he said.
The aims of the team for 2016 are clear, according to Storey. “The roster of the Podium Ambition Pro Cycling team is an incredibly strong line-up with both Sarah Storey and Joanna Rowsell going in to Rio with titles to defend," he said.