Wiggle-Honda is providing the perfect track for Great Britain’s gold medal team pursuit team Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell.
“It’s a perfect vehicle to race on the road,” Sports Director Simon Cope told Cycling Weekly this week in Doha at the Tour of Qatar.
“It’s best to integrate into an existing structure and then they can pick and choose the races they need to do so that they can be ready for the track.”
The London Olympic squad joined the new Wiggle-Honda road team over the winter with fellow Brits, junior time trial world champ Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts.
Great Britain’s cyclists race for various teams scattered around the world: Lucy Garner in Argos-Shimano, Sharon Laws in Lotto Belisol and Lizzie Armitstead in Dolmans-Boels.
Cope explained, “To set a team up solely based on them in the UK is hard because you need more riders, you need a minimum of four in every bike race to start. It’s best to integrate into an existing structure and then they can pick and choose the races they need to do so that they can be ready for the track.”
L-R: Roberts, Rowsell, Trott, Barker and King
David Brailsford, team Sky’s principal and GB’s performance director, said last year a development programme to the pro ranks.
“We have a chance with a brilliant group of girls,” David Brailsford told CW. “It does not have to be a team bolted on to a UCI WorldTour team [like Sky]. What they need is good coaching… they need the mechanism.”
Wiggle-Honda offers a comfortable spot for now for new professionals.
Aussie cyclist Rochelle Gilmore began her team over the winter. She receives help from Honda, online cycle retailer Wiggle and Bradley Wiggins’ foundation.
Trott and King will race the pursuit with Roberts or Barker at the track worlds in Minsk, Belarus, February 20 to 24. They will begin their road season with Wiggle in April, joining Gilmore and double road world champion, Giorgia Bronzini.
Trott and King will race GP de Dottignies, Rowsell and Roberts are starting with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Cope said of his track stars, “It’s making the next step now, winning some UCI races. It won’t take long.”