PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Jumbo-Visma, one of the leading men's outfits, is starting a women's team for the 2021 season with Dutch great Marianne Vos in the squad, they said in a statement on Monday.
The creation of the team is a welcome boost for women's cycling, which has been badly hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
"The time is ripe to get started. It is fantastic to be able to make a major contribution to national and international women’s cycling through your own women’s team," team manager Richard Plugge said in the statement.
The Dutch team will be spearheaded by 33-year-old Vos, a 12-time world champion across three disciplines -- road, cyclocross and track -- and an Olympic champion on the road and track.
"I am proud to be part of Team Jumbo-Visma. The vision and ambition of the team appeals to me and I look forward to starting together," the 33-year-old Vos said.
Last week, the Paule Ka outfit stopped its activities with immediate effect saying the French fashion label sponsor had failed to make payments to the team in the last four months.
The first edition of the Paris-Roubaix women's race was also scraped from the calendar after the event was cancelled and Tour de France organisers have also yet to announce details of a highly-awaited major race on the back of the men's event.
Jumbo-Visma are second in the men's world rankings after Slovenian Primoz Roglic finished second in the Tour de France and Belgian Wout van Aert won the Milan-Sanremo 'Monument' classic in August and was second in Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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