World and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke, is teaming up with Stefan Wyman, current manager of the Swift Racing team, to build a team, which will be known as Vision1 Racing. The new team will bring Wyman together with the support staff that helped Cooke win those Olympic World titles in 2008. It will support Cooke and her goals as well as serve as a development platform for future elite female racers.
"I feel very fortunate to have had such fantastic support from a few key people during 2008 who have worked with me in a professional way to help me achieve my best possible results," said Cooke. "Having achieved my dreams in cycling I now feel it is time to give something back to the sport and believe that by helping to develop the next generation of talented riders we can make Britain one of the strongest nations in cycling by [the London Olympic Games in] 2012.
"I was impressed with the professional and motivated attitude to racing and development of riders shown by Swift Racing when racing with them at the Grande Boucle this year. I was also very impressed by Stefan Wyman's management skills and his attitude to developing riders and team spirit. I think that by taking the best of both of our resources we can create a team structure that can make talented British riders part of the strongest team in women's cycling by 2012."
Wyman will fill the management role for Vision 1. "I am delighted. It's something I have hoped would happen ever since the Grand Boucle. Nicole and I have a very similar vision for the future of women's cycle sport in the United Kingdom. I'm excited about 2009 to see what we can achieve."
According to Cooke, the programme will last at least four years and focus on "preparation, performance and development of talented riders, not just on results". The team will provide the stepping stones necessary to progress to the top of elite women's road racing, and the squad will race events from local races up through World Cups, National and World Championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
Although Wyman said he wants to build a team of primarily young British riders who might eventually be part of the 2012 British Olympic Games team, he said, "Due to the lack of experienced road racers in Britain the team will have a number of experienced international riders showing and setting a good example for the younger riders to follow."
Cooke shared her philosophy for the team. "Our focus will be on building up a team spirit with a professional attitude to preparation, training and racing in an environment that also helps the riders develop as people. I feel this balance between enjoying life and their racing will be crucial to helping the riders get the most from their sport."
More details on the team's racing calendar and rider roster will be announced soon.