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Wahoo is targeting the Women’s WorldTour next year in a new partnership with clothing manufacturer Le Col.
The company has taken over as a named sponsor of the Drops-Le Col p/b Tempur squad, which Joss Lowden rode for when she set the women’s hour record in September of 2021.
Tom and Bob Varney will continue to direct and manage the team that they founded in 2015, which will now be known as Le Col-Wahoo. While the team will remain at Continental level for 2022, it has WorldTour ambitions.
With five teams stepping into the WorldTour for 2022, there is currently one spot remaining in the top tier of women’s cycling for 2023.
“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,” Tom Varney said. “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.”
Cycling apparel manufacturer Le Col has been involved with the squad for several years already and committed to increasing its investment in the team by three-fold.
Le Col founder Yanto Barker sees the team as an integral part of the research and development process in creating a technically advanced and supremely comfortable cycling kit.
“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,” said Barker.
“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.”
Wahoo, which makes GPS computers, wearable devices, and cycling training equipment, already sponsors several teams but this is its first named partnership.
“Wahoo’s partnership with the team is in direct alignment with our core values,” Wahoo CEO Mike Saturnia said. “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’ performance this season, and for years to come.”
Le Col-Wahoo looks to quickly follow the examples of other teams which have recently been elevated to the WorldTeam level, or which have applied for the upgrade.
Human Powered Health is being elevated to WorldTeam status for 2022 while EF Education First will join Silicon Valley Bank in co-sponsoring the squad that will be known as EF Education-Tibco-SVB. The team has applied for Women’s WorldTeam status and will remain a standalone women’s team, and not join the EF Education-Nippo men’s WorldTour team.