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Women’s Tour de France Needs You

Women will take their place alongside cycling's iconic race this year - how it's up to you to ensure it's a success

Women will take their place alongside cycling’s iconic race this year – how it’s up to you to ensure it’s a success

Read Sportette’s last article on A New Road Ahead for Women’s Cycling

 

In one of the biggest developments in the history of the Tour de France, women will take their place in the iconic race this year…but now it’s up to you to help them.

Following a massive worldwide push for women to have their own Tour de France the UCI and ASO have responded with a one day race on the final stage.

La Course by Le Tour de France will ride into the Champs Elysees ahead of the men on the last day and will be broadcast live on Eurosport.

The announcement follows a huge push on social media by some of the sport’s biggest stars, including World Champion Marianne Vos, calling for the establishment of a Women’s Tour de France. Their online petition attracted around 100,000 signatures.

World Champion Marianne Vos with Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and ASO CEO Yann Le Moenner

World Champion Marianne Vos with Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and ASO CEO Yann Le Moenner

And although it can be argued that its new name is slightly patronising, the move certainly isn’t.

This may just be one day, but it’s not a token gesture. It’s a trial. A test to see how popular, supported and lucrative women’s cycling is. It won’t remain a one day race forever, moving forward it will grow and develop in the sporting landscape and in people’s consciousness. The aim is to have the Women’s Tour de France grow to be the most prestigious and popular event on the Women’s calendar, like it is with the men.

But that can’t happen without your help.

Too often people complain about women’s sport not receiving the same amount of support and reward as the men’s without actually making the effort to follow, watch and engage in women’s sport themselves.

It can be difficult if it’s not televised but there are other ways of showing your interest. Follow the cyclists on social media, engage with the riders, follow their progress and most importantly, start a conversation about the riders with your friends. If you find it interesting then encourage them to be interested as well.

Lacourse2This isn’t the first time that they have tried to introduce a women’s Tour de France. Tour de Feminin took on many names and forms between 1984-2009, with some years cancelled completely because of a lack of sponsorship. Ultimately this was the reason for its eventual demise.

A lot has changed in women’s cycling since then. The cycling itself is more exciting and thrilling, it’s tactical and ballsy and makes for compelling viewing. The other big change is that it’s now being played out through the twitter, facebook, instagram and snapchat era.

While this year won’t be the first attempt at a Women’s Tour de France, it will be the first attempt in this new social media world. Fans now don’t have to rely on a company’s market research, ratings or perhaps sexist bias to determine how popular an event is and whether it should stay. People now have a powerful way of showing support and interest from anywhere in the world – albeit in 140 characters.

Cycling organisations, big business, the media and publicity machines follow popular trends and now with social media there’s the perfect opportunity to show how important this race is. Follow the riders on social media, retweet and like their posts, write posts yourself about the race and make sure your friends spread the word by sharing or retweeting them. If you can’t get a conversation about it going at the water-cooler at work, get it out there in the cyber-world.

Get your hashtags ready girls – the future of the race is at your fingertips.

 WHO TO FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA: tweet us any other recommendations @sportette_au and we’ll add it to the list

CYCLISTS:

Marianne Vos                   @marianne_vos               @mariannevosofficial

Kathryn Bertine                 t @KathrynBertine

Emma Pooley                   t @PooleyEmma

Chrissie Wellington           t @chrissiesmiles 

Emma Johnasson             @emmaprocyclist            @emmaprocyclist

Kirsten Wild                     @kirsten_wild

Ellen van Dijk                   @ellenvdijk                          @emvandijk

Elizabeth Armitstead         @L_ArmiTstead                @l_armitstead

Giorgia Bronzini                @GiorgiaBronzini              @giorgia_bronzini

Chloe Hosking                  @chloe_hosking                 @chloe_hosking_

Tiffany Cromwell               @tiffanycromwell               @tiffanyjane_01

Linda Villumsen                @LVillumsen

Elisa Longo Borghini          @ElisaLongoB                      @elisalongob

Loes Gunnewijk                @loesgunnewijk

Amy Pieters                      t @amypieters                        @amypieters

Katrin Garfoot                    @katrin_garfoot                 @katrin_garfoot

Evelyn Stevens                  @evelyn_stevens                @evelyn_stevens

Shelley Olds                     @ShellyJOlds

Rochelle Gilmore                @RochelleGilmore

Grace Elvin                      t @gracieelvin               i @gracieelvin

Loren Rowney                   t @lorenrowney                    i @lorenrowney

Lauren Kitchen                  t @LaurenKitchen1             i @lozzkitchen

Amy Cure                            t @AmylCure                                    i @amycure

Carlee Taylor                          t @carleetaylor1                      i @carleetaylor1

Jo Hogan                            t @healthycyclist                               i @healthycyclist

Peta Mullens                     t @petamullens                       i @petamullens

Rebecca Wiasak                 t @careceb                            i @careceb

Carmen Small                      t @smallsunday      

Grace Sulzberger                  t @gksulzberger               i @sksulzberger

Annette Edmondson               t @nettieEdmo              i @nettieedmo

Amanda Spratt                     t @AmandaSpratt

Pauline Ferrand Prevot             t @ferrandprevot

Alena Aaliusik                   t @amialiusik

Simona Frapporti                 t @simonafrapporti

Susy Zorzi                           t @susyzorzi

Anna Stricker                         t @anna_stricker

Sarah Roy                           t @Sar_Roy

COMMENTATORS:

Sportette                           @sportette_au                    @sportette_au

Kate Bates                         @KatherineLBates             @Kateybates82

Sarah Connolly                    @_pigeons_

Aaron S. Lee                       t @aaronshanelee

Le Tour Entier                     @letourentier

Dotsie Bausch                      t @DotsieBausch

Peloton Watch                    @PelotonWatch 

UCI Women’s Cycling         @UCIWomenCycling

John Orbea                      t @Cyclopunk

Women’s Cycling Association             t @wca_tweet

Race Vista                         t @RaceVista

TEAMS:

Orica-AIS                                                         @ORICA_GreenEDGE      @oricagreenedge

Ale Cipollini                                                      @CipolliniTeam

Astana Bepink                                                  @BePinkTeam

Bizkaia-Durango                                               t @BizkaiaD2013 

Boels Dolmans                                                 @boelsdolmansct

Hitec Products                                                  @Hitec_Products

Lotto Belisol Ladies                                           t @LB_Ladies

Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies                   @OPTUMpbKBS

Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86                      @VFuturoscope

Rabo Liv Women                                               @RaboLiv

Rusvelo                                                             @RusveloTeam

Specialized-Lululemon                                        t @velociosports

Team Giant-Shimano                                           t @GiantShimano

United Healthcare Pro Cycling                              t @UHCprocycling

Wiggle Honda                                                     @WiggleHonda

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