Specialized-Lululemon won the women’s team time trial today at the World Championships in the Netherlands and helped push for a change in the way that women’s cycling is viewed.
“As soon as it was announced there was going to be one, we aimed for it,” general manager, Kristy Scrymgeour told Cycling Weekly. “I think it’s a brilliant thing for women’s cycling to have a World Championship for, it helps the sponsors, which in turn helps the sport.”
The German team selected its six riders after the London Olympics, and raced the World Cup in Sweden and the BrainWash Ladies Tour to prepare for the team time trial.
“We put everything into it,” added Scrymgeour. “We had training camps through the year and our equipment sponsors put a lot into it. We’ve trained really hard for it.”
Scrymgeour spent several years racing and then as the spokesperson for Mark Cavendish and his team-mates at HTC-Highroad. When the team folded last year, she started Specialized-Lululemon.
She heard the recent comments from Emma Pooley, referring to the “Mickey Mouse” treatment of women’s cycling by the Union Cycliste International (UCI). However, she wants to help change it.
“My big mission is to try to grow the sport in a good way. We need to and make it sustainable for them,” Scrymgeour said.
“We have a plan. On thing is that we can’t keep saying to the people who run men’s cycling and races that they have to do the same for women. It is one way. It’s a good step. However, we need to take the race series into our own hands; we have enough women who have experience to help grow ourselves. The time’s right now. There’s interest, sponsors like ours.”
She guided the team to 47 wins this year according to CQ Ranking. The racing she said has advanced despite several events folding.
“The racing is amazing and there’s so much more depth. It’s changed dramatically over the last 15 years, but the infrastructure around it and its allocation needs to change. Just the way the UCI describes the sport, as if it’s still a development sport, but it’s not a development sport if you look at the average speeds. Having an event like this is a step in the right direction.”