David Lappartient, president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), said in an interview with Dutch media Flash Cycling that Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) will organize a stage race to be held in 2022 and which will be considered the women’s equivalent of the Tour de France.
“If this race will also be called the Tour de France, I don’t know yet,” said Lappartient. Flash Cycling. “I am sure that ASO will be ready to put this event on the calendar in 2022. It is a very good step in the development of women’s cycling.”
Flash Cycling also indicates that the race will consist of eight stages and that it will start in Paris on the last day of the men’s Tour de France.
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The pressure for a true equivalent of the Tour de France for women’s professional cycling has been around for a long time. There was, in fact, a Tour de France Féminin stage race from 1984-89, which ran as a three-week race alongside the men’s for two years before being reduced to two weeks. Since then, the race has been held under different variations, under different names.
More recently, ASO has been running La Course since 2016, but only as a one or two day race. (The WorldTour women’s racing level has only been around since 2016 as well.)
Earlier this year, the UCI announced that the women would finally get their own edition of Paris-Roubaix – another victory in the ongoing fight for equality in women’s professional cycling.
Additionally, ASO also recently announced that it will no longer use girls’ podiums at the Tour de France, but instead will have a male host and female hostess to present the prizes.
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