Marianne Vos launched Shimano's new Strongher initative in London on Friday, a campaign to unite the pro and grassroots ends of women's cycling.
Strongher will be promoted on Shmimano's web channels and through tips, tricks and product features for the Strongher website, www.strongher.cc.
Shimano said it will encourage bike retailers to join the Strongher campaign with in-store promotions and displays "to inform and inspire women".
“With Shimano and Pearl Izumi we have always had a clear focus on providing women’s-specific products, as women cyclists have different anatomy and preferences,” says Mike Smink, senior marketing manager at Shimano Benelux.
“The creation of the Strongher platform inspired us to spread the message towards our retail partners that women have different needs to male cyclists. By initiating the Strongher Women Friendly Store label not only will a wider selection of women’s products within cycling stores be promoted, but stores will also offer specific facilities that are appreciated by women, such as decent and comfortable fitting possibilities.”
Strongher founder Marianne Vos added: “Women’s cycling is getting more and more popular and as the sport is growing more initiatives are being developed. The time is right for women’s cycling to take the stage and close the gap to the men’s cycling; Strongher will be this stage.
“We want to increase the exposure of female professional athletes and reveal the characters of the sport. We want to give amateur women the confidence they need to start racing, developing events and other grassroots initiatives. In addition we want to give women the confidence to cycle more often, giving everyone a platform to achieve their goals.”
Strongher will have both an online and offline presence. From a newly developed app to connect women in cycling to new events on the international cycling calendar, Strongher also intends to seek cooperation with organisations like L’Etape de Tour to create races like an Amstel Gold Race for professional cyclists. During all these initiatives Shimano will be the content partner to inform and inspire women to cycle more often.
Marianne Vos launched Strongher at a London press conference