Trek-Segafredo confirmed that it is launching a new UCI women's team that will race on the Women's WorldTour at a press conference in Aix-les-Bains, during the first rest day at the Tour de France. The team also confirmed that they have signed former world champion Lizzie Deignan, who was in attendance to speak with the press.
The team has reportedly, and rumoured, to have hired Sunweb's Ellen Van Dijk, along Wiggle High5 riders Elisa Longo Borghini and Audrey Cordon-Ragot after the team has been rumoured to come to a close at the end of the 2018 season.
There were rumours of a new women's team being built under the Trek-Segafredo management that first circulated last Thursday on CyclingWeekly and that the program was set to sign Deignan, who is currently on leave as she is expecting her first baby. The new contract brings to an end her five-year term with Danny Stam's Boels-Dolmans team
"I'm thrilled to partner with Trek and to support the company's mission to affect major progress in the sport," said Deignan in the team press release. "The goals of the team perfectly align with my personal and professional goals, and I'm excited to be part of it."
The women's team will be named Trek Factory Racing, which already exists with off-road teams in mountain biking, enduro and cyclo-cross and includes stars such as Evie Richards and Emily Batty, and the company sponsors Katie Compton's team KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight. This makes Trek the first cycling brand to directly own a professional women’s road team.
"Trek is committed to changing the world by inspiring more people to ride," said Trek President John Burke, "and our world-class women's road team will be filled with passionate racers who are out to inspire. We're putting full support behind our athletes so they can focus on their profession and be the best they can be."
"We've learned from owning other Trek Factory Racing programs that direct support and involvement from Trek is good for athletes, partners, and staff. It creates an environment where everyone thrives," said Trek's Sports Marketing Director Tim Vanderjeugd.
The American bike manufacture already co-titles the UCI women's team Trek-Drops, which is run by Tom Varney. Drops launched the team in 2013, and became a UCI-registered outfit in 2016, while Trek only recently took over as co-sponsor at the start of this season. The news of Trek being the title sponsor of new team could mean that Drops needs to find a new sponsor.