The campaign to reintroduce a women’s Tour de France has intensified with the launch of a new website – letourentier.com – and the unveiling of an official manifesto which has been sent to both the International Cycling Union (UCI) and Amaury Sport Organisation, owners of the Tour de France.
With support from a number of high profile sports personalities including World Champion Emma Pooley, Dutch superstar Marianne Vos and World Ironman Triathlon Champion Chrissie Wellington, the reintroduction of the event is once more high on the agenda. The women’s Tour de France has had a checkered history; it began in 1984 (as the ‘Tour de France Feminin’), folding five years later and returning for a further stretch from 1992 during which it was rebranded ‘The Grande Boucle’ following trademark disputes; the 2004 event was cancelled due to problems with logistics and the last running of the race was in 2009.
The Manifesto makes it clear that the opening up of the TdF to female athletes is only part of the wider issue of equal representation (and indeed media representation), saying, ‘Our objective is to help create a framework to support the growth of women’s cycling and build a sport with greater consumer, media and commercial appeal…’
To support the reintroduction of the women’s Tour de France campaign, which encompasses everything from sponsorship to more holistic employment opportunities visit letourentier.com, sign the petition (almost 94,000 already have) and spread the word. You can also follow the campaign on twitter at @LeTourEntier