Organisers confirm return of Women's Tour de France in 2022

The women's edition of the biggest cycling race in the world is set for a comeback in 2022, Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme announced on Wednesday (AEST).

Set to take place immediately after the men's event, there has not been a women's tour since the 1980s, it ran from 1984 until 1989 when it was forced to fold due to financial difficulties.

La Course is the women's event currently run in concert with the men's Tour de France, held annually and won last year by Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo).

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Speaking to the Guardian, Prudhomme revealed the original plan was to have the race this year, but the pandemic meant it had to be pushed back further.

“It will take place next year, that’s certain,” Prudhomme said. “It would have happened this year if it had not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, obviously, and above all, if the Tokyo Olympics had not been after the [men’s] Tour, so the best riders may not be available.

"But the decision has been taken. There will be a Tour de France femmes in 2022 following closely after the [men’s] Tour."

While still keeping information about the route or length of the race under wraps, Prudhomme emphasised the importance of learning from the mistakes of the event's past stint in order for it to become a mainstay of the cycling calendar.

“In my view, you have to put to one side the idea of parity between men and women," he said.

"Why? Because there was a reason why that race only lasted for six years, and that was a lack of economic balance.

What we want to do is create a race that will stay the course, that will be set up and stand the test of time. What that means is that the race cannot lose money.

“Today, all the women’s races that we organise lose us money. Even so, we’ve been running Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course by Le Tour.



"There was the Tour of Yorkshire and the Tour de Qatar Feminin, there will be Paris-Roubaix in October. If it makes money, that’s great, but it mustn’t lose money or it will end up like the Tour in the 80s and it will die.

The challenge is to set up a race that can live for 100 years."

Prudhomme also spoke to the difference in route organisation for men's and women's races and how it will affect the Tour de France femmes.

“Men’s cycling has a high level, and is more at the same level," Prudhomme said. "For a men’s organiser, that’s tough – you need steeper climbs all the time, harder climbs and so on.

“To run a women’s race is more simple, you don’t need 50 hyper-steep climbs, you can be more natural about it.

"Women’s cycling is far less controlled than men’s. I can tell you there will be links with the past, with the present, and perhaps the future on the route of the [women’s] Tour.”


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3 min read
Published 12 May 2021 at 1:02pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS