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Women's Tour de France in July 'impossible', says Prudhomme

Joe Robinson
5 Feb 2019

Tour organiser rules out women's Tour concurrent to men's due to logistics

Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme has categorically ruled out the chance of a women's Tour de France running concurrently with the men's race.

In an interview with Eurosport France, Prudhomme said that 'a female Tour of France in the month of July is impossible' due to the logistics of two Grand Tour races taking place in parallel being too much for ASO, current Tour organisers, to handle.  

'I would not know how to organise such an event in the month of July. We would never get the necessary permits while, in parallel, the Tour is being contested. It is simply impossible to do so,' said Prudhomme.

'We organise a large number of women's races and we want women's cycling to develop, but a Women's Tour in July is a resounding no. It simply can not be done during the Tour.'

ASO was heavily criticised last October after it confirmed that La Course by Le Tour, set for 23rd July in Pau, would not only remain a one-day race but also take place away from the men's Tour, which will be contesting Stage 16 in Nimes.

In response to this, UCI president David Lappartient warned Prudhomme to take 'responsibility' in the growth of women's cycling, telling a selection of journalists including Cyclist that he considered two races taking place side by side as a solution.

'I told them, "You are the leading organisation in the world so you have to take your part of the responsibility to support women’s cycling",' Lappartient said.

'I know there are difficulties. They are thinking maybe of a one-week stage race. I would support this, but I asked them why not the last 10 days the same stages for men and women?'

At the same time, Lappartient also expressed his immediate desire for a women's Paris-Roubaix to be launched. 

However, these latest comments from Prudhomme seem to put Lappartient's desires on ice, at least for now, with ASO set to continue its single-day event.

An obvious alternative that could be considered is the organisation of a women's Tour de France away from its male counterpart, akin to the women's and men's Giro d'Italia.

Currently, the Italian Grand Tour for men takes place across three weeks in May while the women's race tackles 10 stages in July.