The Arkea women’s team has announced its goal going forward, which includes a new Sports Manager and a goal to join the Women’s WorldTour. Jean-Christophe Moussard will join the team from Team Sodebo Voile with a reputation as a project builder. His aims will be to take the Arkea women’s team up to the highest level, whilst also ensuring the success of the men’s development team to act as a feeder for the men’s team which is in the WorldTour as of the 2023 season.
The WWT goal is largely built off the back of securing B&B Hotels as a sponsor for the foreseeable future. It’s quite a turnaround for that marque who were expected to put their name to the Jérôme Pineau led project this offseason, only for that project to come to a close in early December, leaving riders high and dry. Many of those riders ended up at Zaaf Cycling, undergoing another disappointment as their project hit the rocks. Most are now on more secure teams for the rest of the 2023 season at least, with star rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot sorted on Human Powered Health.
The link to B&B Hotels will increase the budget and allow the women’s team to progress. They are currently the 5th-ranked French team in the UCI rankings which belies some of the strong performances they’ve had this season, including Megan Armitage‘s GC win at the Vuelta Extremadura.
It sounds like more bigger-name signings will be looked for, whilst also continuing to progress the current riders on the roster. The team isn’t a threat in the promotion standings for the 2024 season, so it will be 2026 at the earliest before the team can qualify for the highest level in women’s cycling.
“As regards women’s training, our ambition is to integrate the UCI WorldTour in the future. This team has now existed for four seasons, the foundations have been laid, we will be able to rely on it in order to gain momentum. The objective is to strengthen and grow by recruiting experienced runners with qualities that will enhance those of our existing workforce.
In congruence with them, the athletes who already wear our colours will thus continue their progress. We also want to strengthen our staff. Our requirement for these two teams will be identical and can be summed up in two words: professionalism and performance, whether for the athletes, but also for the staff. “Jean-Christophe Moussard