• The riders power down the Champs-Elysees during the 2014 running of La Course in Paris (AAP) (GodingImages)Source: GodingImages
Anticipation is building for La Course by Le Tour de France, the one-day women’s race which takes place on the Champs-Élysées before the final stage of the three-week men’s event.
Cycling Central

20 Jul 2015 - 10:33 AM 

The initial running of La Course, held on 27 July 2014, saw the best women cyclists on the planet come together to race an 89km circuit on the Champs-Élysées, the same course that will be used this year. The race created much-needed exposure for women's cycling, with many other events on the international cycling calendar now boasting a feminine twin.

Some races are in the process of being set up, such as the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. Like its French model, this event will take place on 13th September in Madrid as a curtain raiser to the finish of the 2015 Tour of Spain, a sign that women's cycling has entered into a new era.

Bolstered by sporting and popular success, La Course by Le Tour will be back for a second edition to confirm its place on the calendar. 120 riders will set off from Place de la Concorde on July 26 on a quest to claim the prestigious title.

The only notable absence will be last year's winner, Marianne Vos who has suffered from repeated injuries since the start of the season. The leader of the Rabo-Liv team has had to give up on defending her title in order to facilitate her recovery.

Given Vos’s dominance in the road circuit, the battle for the win appears more open between the 120 riders enrolled, who are split between 19 UCI teams and the French national team. 

Dual road and cyclo-cross world champion, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv), will be attempting to follow on from team-mate Vos’s victory the inaugural event.

The new star of the pack has excelled on all terrains and should legitimately be able to tame the cobbles on La Course by Le Tour, all the more so since the Frenchwoman, who fell at the finish in 2014, is after revenge.

“PFP” is among the main favourites for victory, alongside the Italians Elisa Longo Borghini and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda), Dutch riders Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) and Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans), Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans), German Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) and Sweden's Emma Johannson (Orica–AIS).

In the French ranks, other than Ferrand-Prévot, the presence of the French national team should be noted, whilst the Poitou-Charentes-Futuroscope team will be able to count on its solid sprinters Roxane Fournier and Pascale Jeuland.