Tour de France Féminin

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Grande Boucle is also a common nickname for the (men's) Tour de France.

The Grande Boucle, formerly known as the Tour Cycliste Féminin, or simply Tour Féminin, was one of the Grand Tours of women's cycle races. Grande Boucle means "great loop" and describes the individual stages which form a circuit around France.

The organizers had to scramble for sponsorship nearly every year and were forced to schedule stages in cities which contributed money, regardless of their location. As a result, there were long transfers between the finish of one stage and the start of the next. Another problem in the mid-1990s involved the name. Until 1997, it was the Tour Cycliste Féminin, billed as the Women's Tour de France or the Women's Tour. The organizers of the men's Tour de France said it was a breach of trademark and in 1998 the name changed.

In 2004, the race could not be held because of organisational difficulties. It returned, smaller, in 2005 and 2006. The previous tours were 10 to 15 stages; later ones had five and stayed in one region. The race was also rated lower by the UCI, and had a reduced field. In 2008, the race was six days and seven stages. However, in 2009 the race was only four days long with only 66 riders, after a planned race start and three stages in Britain fell through, leading winner Emma Pooley to joke that the race was "more of a Petite Boucle than Grande."[1][2] The race was discontinued after 2009. After the subsequent termination of the 10-stage Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin after 2010, the major women's stage race in France would have become the Route de France Féminine—except that it was also canceled for 2011, leaving France without a major women's stage race for the first time since the mid-1980s.[3]

La Grande Boucle Féminine Medallists[edit]

Year First Second Third
1984 Marianne Martin  United States Heleen Hage  Netherlands Deborah Schumway  United States
1985 Maria Canins  Italy Jeannie Longo  France Cecile Odin  France
1986 Maria Canins  Italy Jeannie Longo  France Inga Thompson  United States
1987 Jeannie Longo  France Maria Canins  Italy Ute Enzenauer  West Germany
1988 Jeannie Longo  France Maria Canins  Italy Elizabeth Hepple  Australia
1989 Jeannie Longo  France Maria Canins  Italy Inga Thompson  United States
1990 Race not held
1991 Race not held
1992 Leontien van Moorsel  Netherlands Jeannie Longo  France Heidi Van De Vijver  Belgium
1993 Leontien van Moorsel  Netherlands Marion Clignet  France Heidi Van De Vijver  Belgium
1994 Valentina Polkhanova  Russia Rasa Polikeviciute  Lithuania Cecile Odin  France
1995 Fabiana Luperini  Italy Jeannie Longo  France Luzia Zberg   Switzerland
1996 Fabiana Luperini  Italy Rasa Polikeviciute  Lithuania Jeannie Longo  France
1997 Fabiana Luperini  Italy Barbara Heeb   Switzerland Linda Jackson  Canada
1998 Edita Pučinskaitė  Lithuania Fabiana Luperini  Italy Alessandra Cappellotto  Italy
1999 Diana Žiliūtė  Lithuania Valentina Polkhanova  Russia Edita Pučinskaitė  Lithuania
2000 Joane Somarriba  Spain Edita Pučinskaitė  Lithuania Geraldine Loewenguth  France
2001 Joane Somarriba  Spain Fabiana Luperini  Italy Judith Arndt  Germany
2002 Zinaida Stahurskaia  Belarus Susanne Ljungskog  Sweden Joane Somarriba  Spain
2003 Joane Somarriba  Spain Nicole Brändli   Switzerland Judith Arndt  Germany
2004 Race not held
2005 Priska Doppman   Switzerland Edwige Pitel  France Christiane Soeder  Austria
2006 Nicole Cooke  United Kingdom Maryline Salvetat  France Tatsiana Sharakova  Belarus
2007 Nicole Cooke  United Kingdom Priska Doppmann   Switzerland Emma Pooley  United Kingdom
2008 Christiane Soeder  Austria Karin Thürig   Switzerland Nicole Cooke  United Kingdom
2009 Emma Pooley  United Kingdom Christiane Soeder  Austria Marianne Vos  Netherlands

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hedwig Kröner (2008-08-08). "2009 Grande Boucle Féminine starts in Britain". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  2. ^ Simon Richardson (2009-06-19). "Pooley wins first stage of Grande Boucle". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  3. ^ "Route de France féminine : ce sera pour 2012? (in French)". L'est Eclair. May 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 

Further reading[edit]