Tour de France organiser Amaury Sports Organisation has faced pressure to bring in a women’s tour for some time now and it looks like the campaigning has borne fruit.
Last year, Britain’s former World Time Trial champion Emma Pooley launched a campaign, Le Tour Entier, along with Marianne Vos and Chrissie Wellington, for the return of a women’s Tour de France, which was last staged in 2008.
Le Tour Entier has petitioned for greater rights and awareness of the women’s peloton and this event is direct result of their work. Chrissie Wellington highlighted, “The Le Tour Entier group (LTE), founded by myself, Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and Kathryn Bertine are passionate about helping to grow women’s cycling and women’s sport.
“We have long been convinced that one of the best ways of achieving our mission is to work with the Tour de France, the beacon of world cycling.”
Marianne Vos, Olympic and triple world champion in road racing and, with Pooley, one of the founders of the campaign, says the introduction of the one-day race is a major advance.
The race will be know as the La Course by Le Tour de France and run along the same finishing circuit that the Tour de France takes on with a finish line on the Champs-Elysées.
While the route and distance have yet to be announced – this is expected in April or May – it marks a significant move for women’s cycling given that the Paris finish will provide a much needed showcase for sponsors.
We will provide more information when the details are released.