At midnight Wiggle announced it would be sponsoring the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team, a team that will provide female cyclists with ‘a greater share of the economic benefits that have for years only gone to the men’.
Team manager/owner and 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Australian Rochelle Gilmore said: "Women have traditionally ridden for contracts as little as one-tenth of what the men earn."
"If you want to get the best out of an athlete you need to provide them with what they need – and all too often funding shortfalls mean women cyclists are not provided what they need.
"Our team philosophy is all about the athletes. The deal with Wiggle.co.uk enables us to provide better salaries and the supportive environment our athletes deserve and need so they can reach their full potential."
The sponsorship deal has been signed for three years and the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team brings together a strong line-up or riders, including the aforementioned Gilmore, British Olympians Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, three-time World Cycling Champion Italian, Giorgia Bronzini and seven-time Japanese National Champion, Mayuko Hagiwara.
Laura Trott said: “We are very privileged to have the support of Wiggle – a global project which has the aspiration to raise the professionalism of women’s cycling.”
Wiggle chief exec Humphrey Cobbold added: "Wiggle is all about providing the best. It’s a privilege to support Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling. We look forward to playing a pivotal role in supporting this tremendous group of athletes and hope that our partnership will motivate future female cycling champions the world over."
Wiggle joins Honda Motor Europe as principal partners, with the team also enjoying the backing of The Bradley Wiggins Foundation and British Cycling. Wiggo commented: "I have personally been a Wiggle customer for years and look forward to working closely with the team to ensure that the athletes are well looked after throughout the season."
The team kicks off its racing season on 3 February 2013 with the Tour of Qatar, then switching focus to one day races and UCI World Cup events.
A Sport England survey published earlier this month revealed a rise in the number of women cycling regularly, which is good news if you’re in the bicycle trade, what with women making up more than half of the population.