Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's Not the Tour, but It's Close

I got an email today from Kathryn Bertine. She wanted to thank me for signing her petition several months ago asking that women be allowed to compete in The Tour.
When the Tour started last summer, I blogged about the odds of a woman being cycling in the tour.
Shortly after my blog I was notified that Kathryn Bertine, along with some other spectacular female athletes petitioned the ASO and it's president Christian Prudhomme (Amaury Sports Organization/race director of the Tour de France) to allow women's professional cycling teams to compete at the Tour de France - not against the men, but in conjunction with the men's race.
Believe me, my blog was not the catalyst for the petition.
Rather, the four women (Bertine, along with Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley, Four-time world ironman champion Chrissie Wellington, and Current Olympic and world road champion Marianne Vos), who started the petition just thought the same way as I did - that it was time for women to be able to compete in such a prestigious cycling event also.
I wrote a blog about it when the petition came out.
Well, today I received an email that said a victory was made.
ASO (Amaury Sports Organization): Allow female professional cycling teams to race the Tour de France

"We're happy to announce that La Course by Le Tour de France will take place in 2014! While this is not a full three week race, it is a huge step forward. We now have the opportunity to showcase our talents to the world and grow the sport. Thank you to more than 97,000 people who signed our petition on Change.org. We look forward to your continued support for women's cycling and thank you for your commitment to equality."

What it really comes down to is the women will be allowed to compete in La Course on July 27, the last day of the Tour
According to the email, "This is a huge step toward including women in the full race."
I'm not sure this is a huge step forward, but more like taking back what women already had. There was a separate Tour Feminin in the 1980s, but it lacked parity, media coverage and sponsorship.
When I searched the internet for Tour de France, the site came up with a big write up on La Course.
So maybe this year will be different.

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