Friday, July 26, 2013

Maybe Next Year Women will Ride the Tour?


Earlier this month I wrote a blog questioning whether I (a female) could ever be a Tour de France cyclist.
My answer was no and I didn't even take into account that I am 53-years-young, or just an average cyclist.
All I considered was that I, like all females, have a vagina.
That alone ruled out any possibility of me being in the Tour.
 
Here's my previous blog:
 
But wait!
Maybe women will be in the Tour.
Maybe next year?
 
I have no delusions that I will be amongst them, but I am really excited to think that things may change for women cyclists.
 
And it is all starting with a petition.
 
The petition was started by:
 
Emma Pooley, GBR Olympian & World Champion Cyclist
Kathryn Bertine, SKN National Champion Cyclist and Filmmaker
Marianne Vos, NED World and Olympic Champion Cyclist
Chrissie Wellington, GBR World Ironman Triathlon Champion
 
After being signed by many (hopefully, including YOU), it will be delivered to Christian Prudhomme, the Director of the Tour de France.
 
The main idea of the petition is to get Prudhoome to allow female professional cycling teams to race the Tour de France
Here's exactly what the petition says: 

For 100 years, the Tour de France has been the pinnacle endurance sports event of the world, watched by and inspiring millions of people. And for 100 years, it has been an exclusively male race (there was a separate Tour Feminin in the 1980s, but it lacked parity, media coverage, and sponsorship). After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too. While many women's sports face battles of inequity, road cycling remains one of the worst offenders: fewer race opportunities, no televised coverage, shorter distances, and therefore salary and prize money inequity. We seek not to race against the men, but to have our own professional field running in conjunction with the men's event, at the same time, over the same distances, on the same days, with modifications in start/finish times so neither gender's race interferes with the other.
The women's road race at the London Olympics was a showcase for how impressive, exciting, and entertaining women's cycling can be. The Tour of Flanders and Fl├Ęche Wallonne hold similar top ranked men's and women's races on the same day, with great success. Having a women's pro field at the Tour de France will also create an equal opportunity to debunk the myths of physical "limitations" placed upon female athletes. In the late 1960s people assumed that women couldn't run the marathon. 30 years on we can look back and see how erroneous this was. Hopefully 30 years from now, we will see 2014 as the year that opened people's eyes to true equality in the sport of cycling.
If you'd like to see more women's road racing on television and from the roadside, please sign this petition to call for road cycling to take a major step in the right direction. Help us break down the barriers that unjustly keep female athletes from the same opportunities as men.
Please sign this petition to show you agree that:
-- Women should have the opportunity to compete at the same cycling events as men.
-- Women should be on the starting line of the 101st Tour de France in 2014.
Thank you for your support,

Emma Pooley, GBR Olympian & World Champion Cyclist
Kathryn Bertine, SKN National Champion Cyclist and Filmmaker
Marianne Vos, NED World and Olympic Champion Cyclist
Chrissie Wellington, GBR World Ironman Triathlon Champion
 
 
If you agree with Pooley, Bertine, Vos, Wellington and ME, then click on the link below and sign the petition. Your signature could help bring change to the sport of road cycling.
 

https://www.change.org/petitions/aso-amaury-sports-organization-allow-female-professional-cycling-teams-to-race-the-tour-de-france

Thanks,
Kandi DeCarlo
Train-n-Tri

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