Performance director Stephen Park talks of "aspiration" for new women's team

Britain’s best female road riders could soon be brought together on a single professional team similar to Team Sky if the new performance director of British Cycling gets his way.

Stephen Park, who was took up his new role in the spring, said that the sport’s national governing body had already had discussions and had “real aspirations” about the possibility of creating a new top-level women’s team that would enable them to have more control over rider’s programmes both on the track and on the road.

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“We haven’t got anything firm in place but we have spoken about it,” Park told the Daily Telegraph. “We are particularly keen to see where we can support women’s racing.

“The problem is all those [female] riders are going off and doing different things for different people. I suppose it’s just trying to balance up those [road] programmes with the track programme.

“Ultimately that’s how Team Sky was born all those years ago. That was why they initiated it in the first place, and it just went on to snowball from there.”

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Discussions about the possibility of British Cycling creating a top-level women’s team, possibly including the likes of Lizzie Deignan, Hannah Barnes, Elinor Barker, and Katie Archibald, are clearly still in the early stages, but it appears that the sponsorship would have to come from a source other than HSBC, currently British Cycling’s principal sponsor.

The Team Sky men’s team was launched out of British Cycling in 2010 but are now completely separate organisations, with Sky themselves having faced calls to set up a parallel women’s team, as has been done by a number of other WorldTour men’s teams.