Returning for a sophomore season the UCI Elite Women's peloton, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling have made a only a few changes to their 2013 winning formula. Team owner and rider Rochelle Gilmore told Cyclingnews last year that a successful season would have been a handful of wins but the team well and truly exceeded expectations in thanks to two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini.
The black and orange team will once again be led by Italian Bronzini, who had 17 victories last year, and retains the core of roster from last year. "We have 13 out of 14 riders from last year staying on in 2014, which is almost unheard of in women's cycling," said Rochelle Gilmore. "Only Lauren Kitchen has left the team, and she's been replaced by three really strong and exciting riders."
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling added three new faces to the 2014 line-up increasing the numbers of the squad to 16. Australian Peta Mullens has already proven her strength and talent in the Australian criterium season, taking a silver medal in her National Championships, while the team becomes even more international with the addition of Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin and reigning Spanish time trial champion Anna Sanchis.
As a British team, Wiggle Honda will continue to be built around the prodigious talents of Great Britain's World and Olympic Track champions Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, along with World Track champion Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts.
Along with the five Britons, Wiggle Honda will retains two Germans in Charlotte Becker and Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier, two New Zealanders in national criterium champion Emily Collins and Linda Villumsen while Bronzini will be accompanied by Italian compatriot Beatrice Bartelloni.
The team has already kicked off 2014 with a bang by dominating the women's Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic – the Bay Crits – with victory on three of the four stages at the Australian race. Bronzini became first non-Australian winner of the overall classification of the Summer criterium race series. "With so many Italian sponsors, the Giro d'Italia will be a big target for this year," Gilmore said. "We hope we can get a repeat of Giorgia's stage victory in 2013."
Outlining the season objectives for 2014, Gilmore stated that the while Tour of Britain is a big goal, there is an international flavour to their racing schedule. "Other big targets will be the Chongming Island World Cup, in China, which Giorgia came close to winning last year, as well as the Sparkassen Giro in Germany, which will be part of the World Cup this year.
"As a British team though, the Women's Tour of Britain will be the biggest race of the season for us," Gilmore said. "It's going to be huge."
Wiggle-Honda 2014 roster: Elinor Barker (Great Britain, Beatrice Bartelloni (Italy), Charlotte Becker (Germany), Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Emily Collins (New Zealand), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Rochelle Gilmore (Australia), Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Dani King (Great Britain), Peta Mullens (Australia), Amy Roberts (Great Britain), Joanna Rowsell (Great Britain), Anna Sanchis (Spain), Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier (Germany), Laura Trott (Great Britain) and Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)