Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is both delighted and excited to announce that Emma Johansson has signed a two-year contract with the black and orange team, which will cover the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The 31-year-old from Sollefteå, Sweden, is a 12-time National Champion, and currently holds the blue and yellow cross jersey in both Road Race and Time Trial. In addition to her national titles, 2015 has seen Johansson take victory in the Spanish one-day Durango-Durango race, as well as her third overall title in the Thüringen Rundfahrt stage race in Germany.
Since 2013 she has been riding with the Australian Orica-AIS team, but looks forward to the fresh challenge that Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will bring.
“I’m happy to announce that I will ride for the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team in 2016,” Johansson said. “After ten years as a professional cyclist and the three previous years with Orica-AIS, I feel I need new challenges. I have learned a lot professionally and personally during these last ten years, and I’m proud of the results I’ve achieved with the support of my teams. I plan to stop racing at the highest level of the sport following the 2016 season, and I’m confident that Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team is the best place for me to continue to learn and grow, even in my final season, so that I can call close to my career at my very best.”
Ever since taking the Silver Medal behind Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke at the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008, which made her a household name in her native Sweden, Johansson has consistently been one of the top riders in the women’s sport. Big victories include the 2009 Ronde van Drenthe and 2014 Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cups; 2013 saw her win the Emakumeen Euskal Bira stage race in Spain, and finish the season as World Number One in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Rankings.
Basing herself in Belgium throughout the racing season, the Swedish rider has become an ambassador for the Flanders region, and is a perennial favourite for the Spring Classics; particularly those featuring cobbles, as her two victories in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and three podiums in the Ronde van Vlaanderen show.
Johansson has taken two Bronze Medals and one Silver Medal in the World Road Race Championships, finishing on the podium of both the two previous editions. She represented Sweden again in the London 2012 Olympic Games, finishing sixth in the Road Race, and more Olympic success will be her primary motivation in her first season with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling.
“The 2016 season is an Olympic year,” she explained, “and it’s no secret that Rio is my main goal alongside my typical objectives at the World Cup races and in the Spring Classics. I won a silver medal in Beijing, and I would love to stand on the podium again in Rio.”
With a team already full of big names, Johansson will take her place at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling alongside riders like Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore, Italian Flanders winner Elisa Longo Borghini, Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara, Olympic Champion Dani King and former two-time Road Race Champion Giorgia Bronzini. Johansson will also ride alongside a compatriot for the first time in many years, in the form of former Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin.
“Emma is a really experienced professional who will bring strength in depth to our team and be an invaluable asset on her own terms, as well as a mentor to the younger team members as they develop their racing experience,” commented Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Owner and Manager Rochelle Gilmore.
Created in 2012 by former Commonwealth Champion Gilmore, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling has grown into one of the biggest teams in the women’s peloton. So far 2015 has brought the team numerous victories, including three of the six rounds of the Road World Cup – in which it currently leads the team classification – two stages of the Giro d’Italia, and five National Championships.
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt