Over the past week, we have reported on the campaign to resurrect a women's Tour de France event as early as next year. The online petition launched on the 11th July was created by Britain's former world champion and Olympic medallist, Emma Pooley among other world class female cyclists such as Marianne Vos.
With just over two weeks since it's inception, the campaign has garnered over 70,000 signatures, been covered significantly in the world's press, and not only are the Tour de France organisers the ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) willing to discuss the potential for holding a women's race alongside the men's event, we've now got out own UK politicians getting in on the action.
Jean-Etienne Amaury, the chairman of ASO in a statement, put forth the organisers thoughts,
We need to work out the right economic model, get the media on board and discuss with public authorities about closing the roads. All these parameters need to be planned. But it's not likely to happen next year.
World champion ironman triathlete, Chrissie Wellington in response to the Jean-Etienne's statement said,
We're really excited about that. We are excited about the prospect of feeding into the discussions and the process. That's a huge step forward.
The petition campaigning to allow women to race in a Tour de France event has even sparked the interest of Labour deputy leader, Harriet Harman. Yesterday, in a letter addressed to Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, Harman voiced her support of the campaign.
With the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France being held in Yorkshire, we wonder whether the pressure from a UK politician such as Harman will help progress things in the right direction.