Offical Home of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling

Mayuko Hagiwara “On a mission”

Born on the 16th of October 1986 in Maebashi, Japan Hagiwara joins Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling on the back of an impressive season in which she became an Olympian, and dual Japanese National Champion.

After graduating from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Hagiwara joined the locally sponsored Cycle Base Asahi cycling team. To date, Hagiwara has claimed 5 consecutive Japanese National Time Trial Championship titles which she has complimented with 3 Japanese National Road Cycling titles.


Hagiwara, who started cycling under the guidance of former Japanese top pro rider Miho Oki, hasn’t had a smooth transition to becoming a professional cyclist. Road cycling is yet to become a mainstream sport in Japan. The cycling scene in Japan has become popular largely due to their success on the track with the infamous Japanese Keirins. When Hagiwara joined her local cycling club, her parents met her decision with great concern. They warned her of the dangers of cycling however Hagiwara’s mind was set. Nothing could change it.  It wasn’t until 2006 when her parents’ concerns became a reality. Mayuko was involved in a serious crash in which she suffered a broken pelvis.

“I wasn’t sure if I was able to continue to compete as a bike rider after graduating University. It is very difficult for female riders to keep competing at that time. On one of these days I heard that a Japanese company created their own cycling club. I joined the team in 2009 with my coach and during the years I achieved great results which led me to the Olympic Games and the World Championships. Together with my coach we created a path that was focused on boosting up my ability as a rider and to end up in Europe to compete as a professional bike rider. “

After Oki retired in 2008, having represent Japan at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, Japan lacked international recognition in the cycling scene and was therefore unable to gain valuable UCI points which would qualify her for the World Championships and Olympic Games. “In order to overcome this obstacle, my coach and I mapped out the plan to focus on training in Japan and to compete in a few (European) UCI races to get the necessary UCI points. The plan worked out and I qualified for the Olympics, however I didn’t finish the race.”

Mayuko Hagiwara

But despite the disappointment post-Olympics, Hagiwara didn’t gave up. “I reviewed the race several days later and I realised I was just not good enough as I just didn’t had the same level as the European riders. But determined as I am to make the best out of it I decided to stay in Europe to start searching for European teams. At the same time I realised that with my performances it was going to be difficult to join a team. When I started to think about giving up, Rochelle (Gilmore) contacted me to become one of the riders of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team. It was a miracle coming at the right time. I was jumping from joy. Although I knew nothing about the European culture, system etc. I just wanted to give it a try. So I left the company where I worked for 4 years and joined the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team.”

In her first few months with the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team Hagiwara has learned a lot as she is not familiar with racing in such an organized and structured team as well as racing on the European circuit. “The level of races, the distance, number of participants are all completely different from races in Asia. For me it feels if I am competing in a different discipline. To win the Japanese and Asian Championships you need to require basic skills to compete in and win races in Europe you need more than only basic skills. “

Being the only Asian rider on the team is sometimes difficult but she is getting used to it now. “I believe it is very important to understand the culture in order to succeed as a pro rider in Europe. I still tend to caught up in doing Japanese things, but I would like to adapt myself to the European culture and language. But I always will keep the wonderful Japanese culture in mind and will try to bring over some to my teammates as well. I sometimes have a complex being an Asian, but I am grateful to have such a wonderful teammates. They are treating me as their friend, I just love them. They are determined and mature for their age, and teach me a lot of things. I am very fortunate and I would like to try my best to fit in this wonderful team.”


Having won a climbing kermesse in Dinant, Belgium Hagiwara is critical about her performances with the team. “I am aware that I have not contributed to the team. My role in the team is to adapt to European racing, to help the team and to be pro active in the hilly races. But I have not achieved any of those yet. But it is not all bad as I have learned a lot from riders like multiple World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, Commonwealth Games winner Rochelle Gilmore and the Olympic Track Champions. From them I can learn and absorb a lot what it is like to perform at World Class level and what you have to do to reach your goals.”

At the moment Hagiwara is preparing for the National Road Championships later this month. If she succeeds in her goal to win both the time trial and the road race, it will be a record breaking her fourth and sixth National Title; A never before done feat in the history of Japanese Cycling.

For more information on Mayuko Hagiwara and the rest of the team at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, check out the official website at

Follow Mayuko on Twitter: @MayukoHagiwara and on Facebook

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed