Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is currently hunting for a title sponsor for its women’s initiative, La Course, which it hopes will help it expand the event to more than a single day of racing.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

And an American sponsor might be the first port of call, considering the "strong audience" result the inaugural women's race returned in the US.

According to a report in Bloomberg, ASO is exploring its options to extend the event but would need a strong financial backer to supplement the broadcast and logistical costs.

Specialized played a leading role in marketing the inaugural event, held on the final day of this year's Tour de France to a worldwide audience. But Bloomberg reports ASO's appetite may be bigger than the bike manufacturer may be able to offer, with major American brands Nike and AT & T rumoured to be frontrunners.

ASO chairman Jean-Etienne Amaury told Bloomberg "it would make sense" to have a major US backer help fuel its expansion of the women's event.

Much of the broadcast infrastructure already in place could be utilised by a women's event if stages finished at the same location as the men.

But concerns with the timing for a television audience (it would need to be earlier in the day, or push the men's stages back into the evening), and the extension of road closures are still seen to be problematic.

ASO previously held a women's Tour de France between 1984-1989, and a rebranded edition ran through much of the 90s, called the Route de France.