'A women's team would be logical next step for Team Sky,' says Sir Bradley Wiggins


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The Independent Online

Sir Bradley Wiggins has high hopes that Team Sky will be in a position to run a women's team in the near future, but has warned of the perils of an outfit which would have far greater financial backing than many other women's squads.

"I think it's the next logical step in terms of where we are coming from and what we are focused on," Wiggins said. "We've certainly got the bodies [logistical back-up] for it."

Wiggins already provides some financial backing for the GB Wiggle Honda women's squad formed last year. But he warned against the risks of "over-financing" when some women's teams are forced to operate on a shoestring.

"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."

According to the experienced management of a top women's squad, a solidly funded middle-range team would cost a little under €1m (£821,000) a year to run, barely 10 per cent of what is widely believed to be the annual budget of Sky's men's team. Other teams in cycling's World Tour, like Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEDGE, have women's squads.

Wiggins also described the Tour de France's recent decision to run a parallel women's race on the Champs Élysées the same day the men's race ends in Paris – 27 July – as "a huge step forward".

He added: "There's been a lot of talk about that since the Olympics, but two years have gone by and I don't think we're any further forward in terms of a few people saying a few things. There have been a few teams doing a great job, but this is the first thing of note of somebody big putting their money where their mouth is."