Bradley Wiggins is to become a major funding partner in a new Britain-based women's road team that yesterday announced a line-up containing some of the nation's best young riders, among them the double London Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott.
On the day when the kitsch throne on which Wiggins celebrated his Olympic gold medal failed to sell at auction – falling £500 short of the £10,000 reserve price – the Tour de France champion was revealed to be beginning a much more worthwhile investment in the future of his sport in this country.
Through his Wiggo Foundation he is to support the Dream Team Honda Pro Cycling Team (DTPC), which contains three riders who won gold on the track for Britain at London 2012. Trott will be joined by her champion team pursuit colleagues, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, as well as two of Britain's most talented youngsters, Elinor Barker, the junior world champion, and Amy Roberts. The 11-strong line-up is boosted by more experienced road riders, including the Italian world champion Giorgia Bronzini and will be led by Australia's Commonwealth champion Rochelle Gilmore.
The team will compete in the classics but have their base in the UK. The long-term plan is to see DTPC become the female equivalent of Team Sky as a leading force, although Sky, who also back British Cycling, are not thought to be offering sponsorship.
Trott said: "I'm looking forward to being part of what I believe will be one of the most professional and most successful teams, to gaining more experience on the road with such a great team."
DTPC will make its debut at the Tour of Qatar in January. The team's arrival comes as a timely boost for women's cycling which has struggled to attract sponsors. Lizzie Armitstead's AA Drink-leontien.nl team folded earlier this year due to a lack of financial backing.