The women’s Tour de France “should not be created only out of sympathy”


Annemiek Van Vleuten, the reigning road racing world champion, insists that any women’s Tour de France should not be created just because the organizers “feel sorry” for the riders.The Dutch rider will aim for a third La Course victory on Saturday in the women’s WorldTour one-day race in conjunction with the first stage of the men’s Tour de France.

It comes as David Lappartient, chairman of the world’s cycling governing body, has said he is convinced ASO, the organizers of the Tour de France, will host a women’s version of the iconic three-week race in 2022.

“For me, there is too much emphasis that there should be a women’s Tour de France because that underestimates the races we have,” said Van Vleuten. Sport Telegraph. “A Tour de France for women should be the holy grail, but we have the Women’s Tour [of Britain] which is super well organized.

“The most important thing for me is that if it’s organized, it’s that they [ASO] want to have a female version, not because they think, “Ah, we have to organize something because everyone is complaining about it”. I do not want [it] be a side event because they pity us.

Runner Mitchelton-Scott raised concerns when the women’s 96km route was unveiled as part of the revised women’s calendar in May, saying it was “not quite the level of the WorldTour” – a theme that has resurfaced in a number of shortened events in the women’s schedule.

“We have WorldTour races that need to be run up to 160 km,” Van Vleuten said. “Running a 96-kilometer race gives me the feeling that they [organisers] see women as a secondary spectacle. For me harder, longer races with more climbing are better.

With wins at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in March, three one-day races in Spain in July and Strade Bianche in August, Van Vleuten heads into Saturday’s race after winning the women’s road race at the European Championships. de Plouay this week. . At 37, she bloomed late in the women’s peloton.

“I’m a little annoyed that people are so focused on my age,” Van Vleuten added. “It’s not really a question of age. I started [elite cycling] late I went to college first, and that’s the main reason I peak a little later than other girls. I’m still improving, which is quite motivating for me.


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