Chrissie Wellington’s long-fought battle to get a women’s race at the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, is finally set to launch this July 27. Together with Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and Kathryn Bertine, Wellington created Le Tour Entier and published a call to arms, gathering 95,000 signatures for its online petition demanding a women’s race.
“We really hope that La Course at Le Tour 2014 marks the beginning of a long-term strategy for women’s cycling at the Tour de France,” said Wellington. “Le Tour is the pinnacle of professional cycling and this race is the start of an exciting new era.”
In addition to calling for a women’s race at the Tour de France, the LTE’s mission is to support “changes in the sport, to help harness the full potential of women’s road cycling and develop the sport equitably and sustainably.” For cycling to reach its potential, widespread reform is essential, yet the LTE insists, “[T]his growth will only ever be piecemeal if there is no concerted action to improve the opportunities for women to race and participate in the sport.”
Full details (including format and participating teams) will be unveiled at an official launch in the spring.