The new race is designed to further showcase women’s cycling, ending inside the Orange Vélodrome in Marseilles in front of an expected 67,000 spectators.
Locked in for 2017 was the 20 July race from Briançon up the Col d’Izoard and then to Marseilles, but now the some of the women with the best times at the Col d’Izoard will fight for a second victory in Marseilles with a 23km time trial the day before the final men's stage of the Tour de France.
Eligible riders for the 22 July pursuit will be those who finish within five minutes of the mountainous La Course winner, an added incentive for them to dig deeper on the climb to qualify for the stadium start.
While the men will fight out an individual time trial that day on the streets of Marseilles, the women will start from the stadium based on the time differences recorded a few days earlier in the stage ending at the Col d'Izoard.
This will provide an authentic pursuit in a spectacular and perhaps reward the most balanced rider over the two events. The first to the finish in the Orange Vélodrome wins.