The Le Col Wahoo team, formerly known as Drops Le Col s/b Tempur, has launched, aiming to develop the next generation of female cycling talent.
Ahead of the 2022 UCI season, the new-look team has launched with ‘grand ambitions’ to continue the work towards the UCI Women’s World Tour.
The team will continue to be directed and managed by Tom and Bob Varney, who set up the original Drops team in 2015. Since then, the team has gone from strength to strength and celebrated one of its best seasons last year, which included supporting Joss Lowden to break the UCI Women’s Hour Record in September.
Having supported the team for a number of years, technical apparel brand Le Col announced last year that it would be trebling its investment in the team. The brand will continue to bring its aerodynamic expertise and with the help of the riders, develop the ‘fastest women’s kit possible’, along with a full kit package for the season.
Yanto Barker, founder of Le Col, said: “For 2022 we are taking our partnership and support of the team to the next level – we have been developing some of the most advanced cycling kit possible and with the help of key riders in the team ensuring that this technology enables our riders to ride faster and further.
“Together with Wahoo, we will aim to ensure our backing not only supports the team, but inspires the cycling community and encourages more women to race bikes.”
This is Wahoo’s first headline sponsorship of a professional cycling team and a standout message that it is continuing to invest in women’s cycling to help grow and develop the sport.
“Wahoo’s partnership with the team is in direct alignment with our core values,” said Wahoo CEO Mike Saturnia. “These athletes demand the best equipment in order to allow them to reach top form, and come into each race fully prepared.
“The Wahoo Kickr indoor training ecosystem, Elemnt GPS computers, Tickr heart rate monitors, and Speedplay pedals are the best equipment available, and will greatly enhance all of the athletes’ performances this season, and for years to come.”
Saturnia added: “In parallel with the original mission of the Drops professional cycling team, Wahoo’s purpose is to build the better athlete in all of us, and nowhere is that better displayed than with this partnership. Women’s racing provides some of the most exciting bike racing for viewers and it deserves a much bigger platform to exhibit the riders’ talents and skills.
“We aim to aid the team in qualifying for the Tour de France Femmes in 2022 and share their ambition of becoming a World Tour team in 2023. Together we can bring women’s cycling to a larger audience and inspire new generations of female cyclists.”
Tom Varney, co-founder and general manager of Le Col Wahoo said: “We’re delighted to see both Le Col and Wahoo come together to back the team’s development and move us towards our goal of being the best in the world.
“We believe both Le Col and Wahoo are leaders of their respective fields and their support will be integral to the team and its riders getting to the WorldTour in 2023.”
Le Col has also announced that it will be supplying technical clothing for the men’s UCI World Tour team Bora-hansgrohe from next season as part of a three-year technical kit partnership.
Ralph Denk, Bora-hansgrohe team manager, said: “We hope to set a new benchmark together, most notably in terms of aerodynamics and performance, as this area has become increasingly important over the recent years.
“Le Col’s resources, know-how and experience are highly promising here and we are very much looking forward to working together.”
Barker added: “Over the past year, the Le Col team and I have spent long hours working on a world-beating aerodynamic package for the Bora-hansgrohe team. We’re incredibly excited to be back in the UCI World Tour with Bora-hansgrohe, a team we have admired and aspired to work with for a long time.
“We are honoured to be working with some of the greatest riders in the world and we are especially looking forward to providing their performance cycling kit for the coming season.”