Any sport looking for a blueprint for transforming itself from a minority discipline into a mainstream, high-profile entity need look no further than cycling.

A decade ago, British cyclists would have been unlikely to be picked out of a line-up by anyone other than serious aficionados; these days, they are among Britain's most high-profile athletes.

There is, though, one facet of the sport that has not, as yet, been blessed by British Cycling's Midas touch: women's road racing remains the poor relation in the cycling world, lagging far behind the men's equivalent and track cycling as far as media coverage and funding in this country are concerned. The appeal of men's road racing has spread far and wide and the Tour de France is one of the greatest sporting events on the planet. Track cycling may not have a global following but, within the UK, it is now one of the country's most popular spectator sports.

Women's road racing remains in the shadows. Opportunities for British female riders to break into the elite of the sport are limited. Currently, Wiggle Honda is the only British professional women's team with Olympic track gold medallists Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell riding for them. Bradley Wiggins part-funds the team. In Scotland, there is nothing.

The absence of a pro team north of the border could be about to change though. Graeme Herd, the former head coach of Scottish Cycling, is in the process of developing a women's pro team. The initial plan, conceived in June, involved having a squad racing in the 2014 season. The timescale has proved just too tight, though, with the major sticking point being the absence of a title sponsor. Herd's revised timescale is for the team to be on the start-line for the 2015 season.

The shortage of sponsors interested in the women's sport is something of a peculiarity when you consider the money which is lavished on men's road racing. There are seven professional men's outfits in Great Britain, with Team Sky at the top of the pile. Their annual budget is approximately £20m; Herd estimates that he could run a successful, sustainable women's team for around £400,000 per year.

The attraction to potential sponsors towards the men's side of the sport is clear to see: the media interest is colossal, dwarfing any coverage afforded to women's road racing. This gap is beginning to narrow, though. Brian Cookson, the new president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body, stated in his pre-election manifesto that he will look to develop the women's side of the sport and there has been widespread public support this year for a women's Tour de France; a petition calling for such an event to be resurrected has garnered over 96,000 signatures.

In May 2014, a women's Tour of Britain will be staged over five days and crowds are expected to flock to the event.

When you look at the hard facts, women's road racing could be a more attractive proposition than the men's equivalent. The reputation of the women's sport has not been tainted by doping scandals in the way that men's road racing has been, perhaps indelibly. Perversely, much of the reason that endemic doping has not seeped into women's cycling is a result of the lack of money within the sport. In contrast, men's competition is awash with cash, which has led to riders going to quite remarkable lengths in search of success.

Another attraction to the women's side of the sport is that it can learn from the unstructured development of men's road racing and ensure the challenges that the men's circuit has faced are not repeated. Women's road cycling is approximately 20 years behind men's in terms of development.

Historically, men's (and women's) professional circuits have suffered from sustainability problems; there is a high turn-over of teams with few surviving long-term. The growth of the men's circuit has not been carefully structured and therefore is not as attractive a spectacle as it could be. The development of the women's sport can be more carefully managed as it is currently on a far smaller scale.

Perhaps, though, the biggest draw in women's cycling is one single person: Marianne Vos. The Dutch rider is the greatest cyclist who has ever lived, man or woman. She has won two Olympic gold medals and 11 world titles in road and track racing and cyclocross. Still only 26, she is a phenomenon. She will compete in the women's Tour of Britain next year and exemplifies the quality of athlete that is involved in the sport.

These are just some of the reasons why Herd is optimistic he can make a Scottish women's pro team a success. A few hundred thousand pounds is loose change in comparison to the money required to be involved in the men's sport. And a cycling revolution could be on its way.