La Course by Le Tour de France

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La Course by Le Tour de France
Logo of La Course by Le Tour de France
Logo of La Course by Le Tour de France
Race details
DateJuly
RegionFrance
Nickname(s)La Course
DisciplineRoad
CompetitionUCI Women's World Tour
OrganiserAmaury Sport Organisation
Race directorChristian Prudhomme
Web sitewww.lacoursebyletourdefrance.com/en/ Edit this at Wikidata
History
First edition2014 (2014)
Editions8 (as of 2021)
Final edition2021
First winner Marianne Vos (NED)
Most wins Annemiek van Vleuten (NED)
 Marianne Vos (NED)
(2 each)
Final winner Demi Vollering (NED)

La Course by Le Tour de France was an elite women's professional road bicycle race held in France. First held in 2014 as a one-day race on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, it has been part of the UCI Women's WorldTour since 2016 as a one or two day race. The race was organised by the ASO, the organisers of the Tour de France.[1] It was replaced in 2022 by Tour de France Femmes, a multi day stage race organised by ASO.[2]

History[edit]

In 2013, professional cyclists Kathryn Bertine, Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley and professional triathlete Chrissie Wellington formed an activist group called Le Tour Entier (“the whole tour”), to petition ASO to launch a women's Tour de France.[3] Following substantial media coverage, and a petition signed by over 100,000 people,[4] ASO launched La Course by Tour de France in 2014.[5][6]

This race would be held in conjunction with the Tour de France, with the first edition taking place as a one-day race on the Champs-Élysées in advance of the final stage of the men's race. In subsequent years, the race took place in a variety of locations such as Pau, Col de la Colombière and Col d'Izoard in conjunction with the men's race, as the ASO argued that this was the "best way to shine a light on female cycling".[5][7]

The race was initially praised for the exposure gained by 'sharing the stage' with the Tour de France, with sponsors welcoming the visibility of the Champs-Élysées, and live TV coverage in conjunction with the Tour de France.[7][8]

However, the races were criticised by riders, teams and the media. Some felt that the race was an 'after thought' and were overshadowed by the men's race.[7][8] ASO were criticised for not doing enough to promote the race.[9][10]

The 2017 edition was specifically criticised for a lack of facilities for riders and teams, no support to get from the Col d'Izoard to Marseille, as well as issues regarding the pursuit time trial format in Marseille.[11] The race was also criticised for not being a "full Tour de France", with campaigner Kathryn Bertine stating her disappointment that the race had not evolved into a multi day stage race.[12][9] Riders noted that the stages weren't hard enough for the professional peloton, with former cyclist & commentator Joanna Rowsell stating that "We need mountain climbs, flat stages, time trials and a Champs-Elysees finish".[13]

ASO stated that logistical issues mean that a men's and women's Tour de France would not be able to be staged simultaneously,[6] and that any race must be financially sustainable.[9][14]

In June 2021, ASO announced that the Tour de France Femmes - a multi day stage race - will take place for the first time in 2022. This new 8 day race would take place following the Tour de France, replacing La Course.[2][15]

Locations[edit]

Start and Finish

Winners[edit]

Year Country Rider Team
2014  Netherlands Marianne Vos Rabo–Liv
2015  Netherlands Anna van der Breggen Rabo–Liv
2016  Australia Chloe Hosking Wiggle High5
2017[a]  Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten Orica–Scott
2018  Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten Mitchelton–Scott
2019  Netherlands Marianne Vos CCC Liv
2020  Great Britain Lizzie Deignan Trek–Segafredo
2021  Netherlands Demi Vollering SD Worx

A total of six of the eight editions were won by cyclists from the Netherlands.[17]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although a pursuit race also scheduled according to the organisation as stage 2, the race results in the UCI database were constituted from the result on the Col d'Izoard. Whether using the terminology of the organisation or the UCI, the winner was the same.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "La course by le Tour de France innovating women's cycling". letour.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b "THE TOUR DE FRANCE LAUNCHES THE TOUR DE FRANCE FEMMES AVEC ZWIFT - Tour de France 2022". www.letour.fr. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  3. ^ "Women's Tour manifesto published". BBC Sport. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 2022-02-15. More than 93,000 have signed a petition by the group, led by cyclist and writer Kathryn Bertine, World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington, and cyclists Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley.
  4. ^ Macur, Juliet (2014-07-26). "Women as Athletes, Not Accessories, at Least for a Day". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  5. ^ a b "La Course by Le Tour de France: everything you need to know". BikeRadar. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  6. ^ a b "La Course to showcase women's cycling". BBC Sport. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  7. ^ a b c "Polarized opinions remain on La Course". VeloNews.com. 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  8. ^ a b Richardson, Hollie (2019-06-24). "The lack of women's Tour de France proves sexism in sports". Stylist. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  9. ^ a b c "Why is there no women's Tour de France?". BBC Sport. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  10. ^ "LET THEM RACE | THE CASE FOR A WOMEN'S TOUR DE FRANCE". Liv Bicycles. Retrieved 15 February 2022. But, if you ask many of the elite racers at La Course, the women’s race feels like a parade compared to the grandeur of the Tour de France the men take for granted.
  11. ^ "Tour De France Rest Day 2 Highlights". Tour de France. Episode 17. 18 July 2022. 29:32 minutes in. ITV4. Retrieved 19 July 2022. In terms of getting off the mountain the day of the race, there was no police escort there was nothing. Every team was left to discover how get to Marseille. It took us 9 hours and we were expected to race the next day. Then at the race, I was looking for a female toilet and there wasn't any, there was no facilities. I was offered a 'she wee' and I almost thought about not starting
  12. ^ Payne, Marissa (18 October 2017). "Women's cycling advocates 'disappointed' after Tour de France reverts La Course to one day". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Annemiek van Vleuten unhappy with 'step back' for women's La Course race". Cyclist. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  14. ^ Ballinger, Alex (2019-02-05). "Women's Tour de France alongside men's race 'impossible', says director Christian Prudhomme". cyclingweekly.com. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  15. ^ David, Maria (2021-10-15). "Tour de France Femmes: A jewel that we must cherish, says Marion Rousse". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  16. ^ "2017 La Course by Le Tour de France - Individual Road Race - 20 Jul 2017". UCI.ch. Union Cycliste Internationale. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  17. ^ "History - La Course by Le Tour de France 2021". www.lacoursebyletourdefrance.com. Retrieved 2021-06-26.

External links[edit]