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by Shane Stokes
November 7, 2017
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Former UCI President Brian Cookson has called on companies interested in backing a new women’s WorldTour team to contact him, saying that he believes such a project could be a very successful one. The Briton issued a statement via his personal website announcing his plans, with a debut in the season after next his ideal timeline.
“Over the next few months, I am going to be exploring the possibilities of setting up a new professional cycling team structure,” the Briton said. “My intention is that this should begin with the establishing of a UCI Women’s WorldTour Team for 2019 – a team that will meet or exceed the new high standards that are likely to be put in place by the UCI for the new two-tier structure for Women’s Teams that was developed during my term as UCI President.
“I am not just talking about a top-level team in the traditional sense. There has never been so much interest in women’s sport, fitness and health generally, and this is clearly reflected in the interest in women’s cycling, not just at the elite level, but in terms of general participation.
“It seems to me that we are at a moment of real opportunity for women’s cycling. We are at a pivotal point, a sea-change in attitude towards women’s sport in the media and amongst the public is taking place, and we should seize this opportunity.”
Cookson emphasised that he is not yet at the point to start hiring, saying that the idea is very much at the initial stage. “I am putting this idea out there because I want to stimulate the decision-makers in those companies, many of whom (men and women) enjoy cycling themselves, to start to think about the possibilities,” he stated. “The potential return on their investment could be very substantial, but I want to make it clear that it will need innovation, creativity, and a major effort from their side to make that happen.”
Click through here to read the full statement.