As the second edition of the Tour de France Women prepares, its director Marion Rousse has said she wants to ensure the future of the race before considering its development beyond the current format.
The cream of women’s cycling has an appointment on July 23rd. While the first edition of the Tour de France Women opened in the heart of Paris, it is Clermont-Ferrand which will have the honor of hosting the Grand Départ of the event in 2023, two weeks after the passage in Auvergne of the men’s race. A second edition which, again, will take place over a week and will lead the peloton towards Pau with the highly anticipated ascent of the Col du Tourmalet the day before the finish. While the first Vuelta Femenina adopted the same format, the Giro Donne will take place over ten stages.
Asked about the possibility of seeing the Tour de France Women extend its course in the years to come, Marion Rousse showed restraint. ” It is certain that we do not wish to develop too quicklyconfided the director of the event in an interview with the specialized site Cycling Weekly. Before us, there have already been women’s Tours de France and, if we are a new event, it is because there have been failures concerning what preceded us. I want the race to still exist in 100 years and not stop everything in a few years. »
Tour de France Femmes director: ‘When the time comes, we’ll add more stages’ https://t.co/kMk4nmGZUt
— Cycling Weekly (@cyclingweekly) May 2, 2023
Rousse: “Developing at the same pace as women’s cycling”
In the spirit of the 2012 French champion, the idea is not to go faster than the music but also not to ask too much of the teams taking part in the event. ” We want to grow at the same pace as women’s cycling. At the moment, when it will only be the second edition of the race, it is difficult to add more stages, she added. The numbers of the World Tour and Continental teams are not large enough for a race contested over two or three weeks. Assuring that she “closes the door to nothing”, Marion Rousse confides that adding more stages to the Women’s Tour de France will happen “when the time is right” but, above all, “if possible”.
But, what is certain is that the anchorage with the men’s Tour de France will be retained, in order to take advantage of its sounding board. ” In people’s mind, the month of July is synonymous with the Tour de France and they want to see cycling during this month, she assures. This also helps to amplify the race, with the media reminding us during the men’s Tour de France that the women’s race will follow. “A strategy that differs from those chosen for the Tour of Spain and the Tour of Italy, which do not take place at the same time as the men’s races.