It’s been a big year for women’s cycling. The Women’s Tour, La Course and women’s cycling at the Commonwealth Games have all featured in the mainstream press and have even been televised, something that is pretty unheard of in the world of women’s professional cycling. We seem to be at a tipping point for women’s cycling where it might finally get the recognition it deserves.
The latest step in this bid for parity in women’s cycling comes from none other than Sir Dave Brailsford, general manager of Team Sky. Following Marianne Vos’ win at the inaugural La Course, Brailsford admitted that setting up a women’s team is something he has been thinking about for a while.
Speaking to the BBC, Brailsford had the following to say:
“We’ve got some brilliant female cyclists, we all are very aware that there needs to be a greater parity, not just in road cycling but across all disciplines, both at Olympic and professional level.”
Speaking to The Independent, Bradley Wiggins agrees that a women’s team is the next logical step for Team Sky. The rider who has shown marked commitment to women’s cycling by backing female team Wiggle Honda, said that a such a move would not come without it’s downsides:
“I think the only danger with it is that they [a future women’s Team Sky] become this incredibly super squad, with a great budget and great riders and then you’ve got the worst women’s team on the circuit too and the void is huge… it becomes a financial competition rather than an athletic one.”
While we understand these possible ramifications, there is no doubt that a global name like Team Sky could have a huge effect on raising awareness for women’s cycling.
We know that the racing itself can be as exciting as the men’s, we know that there are riders on the professional scene who will be excellent role models for young girls, all we need is the platform on which to publicise this.
And that is where the introduction of a Team Sky ladies team could really pay dividends. Rochelle Gilmore’s creation of the Wiggle Honda dream team, the PR machine that surrounds it and the resulting coverage since its creation coupled with financial support from top brands is surely proof of that.
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