You’ve probably all caught wind of this by now, but the women of the pro peloton will finally get their Tour de France. Next year there will be an 8-stage race that will start after the men’s finishes. It’s actually more of a Tour d’Alsace, but I guess it’s pretty tough to do a circle of France in 8 days.
This is not the first time the women have had a Tour of their own, but we all hope that their time has come now and this one will stick. From 1984-1989 the Tour organizers ran a stage race for female pros, but according to Wiki it was beset by sponsorship and other financial problems.
My feeling is that the world is ready now. I can watch women’s races nearly every day during the season on GCN, so I can now tell my Van Vleutens from my Longo Borghinis. I’m becoming a little invested in the women’s peloton and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there.
And say what you want about it, the Tour de France is simply the biggest thing there is in cycling by a very long shot. Nothing compares to it in terms of money, prestige, audience or excitement. A Tour de France Femmes is going to massively boost interest in the sport.
As for egalité, well, the Tour de France Femmes will have only a third of the stages as the men and the total prize money is around 10%. There’s some room for improvement.
For me, I’m just glad we’ll have the entire month of July now – not just 3 weeks – to immerse ourselves in the Tour de France.
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starts in Paris on July 24 on finishes on the top of (of course) La Super Planches des Belles Filles on July 31.