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Road Cycling Events

History in the Making at the Inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France

Catch up on the drama and excitement of the historic La Course by Le Tour de France women's road cycling race in Paris

An iconic sight. The pro peloton of La Course by Le Tour de France pass the Arc de Triomphe

La Course by Le Tour de France. It was a race that represented the culmination of months of petitioning, thousands of signatures and a lot of work. It is also being hailed as a major step forward for parity in professional women’s cycling.

119 riders in 20 teams representing 12 countries lined up at the start of the route. The women of the pro peloton completed the 90km circuit in just under 2 hours, passing landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe before finishing on the iconic Champs Elysee, also the location of the Tour de France finish annually.

It was an exciting race, packed with action with repeated attacks from the very start, though the lack of live video stream for the first hour of racing was a disappointment.

 

Notable members of the peloton include Kathryn Bertine, Chrissie Wellington, Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley. These four women formed Le Tour Entier in 2013, a group dedicated to fighting for a women’s Tour de France, and it’s through their hard work and the petition they organised that this event came into being, so it was fitting they were there to see it come alive.

Rabobank Liv rider (and French National Champion) Pauline Ferrand-Prevot was the instigator of the majority of the attacks, keeping the pressure up at the front. Trixi Worrack (Specialized Lululemon) and Annamiek van Vleuten (Rabobank Liv) formed one of the longer lived breakaways, but all were caught with regularity.

As predicted by Wiggle Honda manager and ITV4 commentator Rochelle Gilmore, it all came down to a bunch sprint at the end.

British hopeful Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) had her hopes of a win dashed when she went down hard on the final straight alongside Ferrand-Prevot, taking both of them out of the running. News later reported that Armitstead was disappointed but otherwise okay: good news as she is scheduled to be competing in the Commonwealth Games next week.

The final battle was between Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv) and Kirsten Wild (Giant Shimano). Vos had kept quiet during the majority of the race, but with the approach of the finish both she and Wild quietly moved into place, rocketing off on the final straight.

Neck and neck initially, Vos demonstrated her immense determination, drive and skill and pushed nearly a bike length ahead of Wild to victory.

Check out the La Course by Le Tour de France website for the full results.

 

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