After more than a century, the most famous men’s cycling race in the world is about to get a bit more inclusive.
Tour de France owner Amaury Sport Organisation announced Saturday that a women’s one-day race will coincide with the final stage of the Tour de France on July 27 in Paris. The race will be called La Course by Le Tour de France and will run along the Champs-Elyseés finishing circuit.
It’s a victory for Le Tour Entier, a group of racers who started petitioning for a women’s Tour de France last September. Dutch star Marianne Vos, a seven-time world cyclocross champion and one of the group’s founders, called the announcement a “revolutionary development” for the sport.
One goal of La Course is to bring more global attention to the women’s peloton, which will compete in front of the huge television audience tuned in to the final stage of the Tour de France. Organizers predict that the event is “destined to become an iconic race in the women’s calendar.”
“This is … about supporting a discipline that is clearly on the up and has been making its mark in professional sport for many years now,” Yann Le Moenner, managing director of ASO, said in a press release. “As the event par excellence that attracts enormous crowds and TV viewers, the Tour has decided to welcome a women’s race during one of its outstanding stages, in an event that will have maximum exposure.”
More details will be announced about the race later this spring.