ASO has announced the 20 teams that will take part in La Course by le Tour. The one-day women’s event will take place on the Champs-Élysées ahead of the arrival of the Tour de France.
The list of teams includes the top outfits such as Specialized-Lululemon, Orica-AIS, Giant-Shimano and Rabo Liv Women. Three national teams from France, the Netherlands and Australia will also take part.
“It’s a no brainer, we have to be there and we have to be there to represent women’s cycling and put on a show for the world,” said Specialized-Lululemon team manager Kristy Scrymgeour. “I grew up watching the Tour de France, I never thought I'd become a cyclist, but it’s one of those things that really inspiring. Everybody wants to race in an epic race like that.”
The event will take place ahead of the final stage of the Tour de France and is expected to attract the world’s best female cyclists. Riders will complete 13 laps, totalling 90 kilometres, of the famed cobbled Champs Élysées. The race will utilise the TV and media already in place for the men’s event, which will be a huge boost to a sport that struggles to get sponsors.
“Just the fact that it will be on TV and on TV at one of the world’s biggest sporting events is just a brilliant thing The coverage is getting better but there is a long way to go,” said Scrymgeour.
“It’s just a really good way to get exposure as outside the Olympics there is very few chances to watch women’s cycling on TV and the racing is really good but people don’t get to see it.
“It just makes it easier for the teams to go back to sponsors and build the team and keep it sustainable. If what ASO is doing expands into other events or generates more expires, it’s really great thing for women’s cycling.”
The 20 teams for La Course by Le Tour
Orica – AIS (Australia)
Equipe Nationale Australienne (Australia)
Lotto Belisol Ladies (Belgium)
Bizkaia - Durango (Spain)
Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies (United States)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (United States)
Specialized - Lululemon (United States
Poitou Charentes Futuroscope 86 (France)
Equipe Nationale Française (France)
Wiggle Honda (United Kingdom)
Ale Cipollini (Italy)
Astana Bepink Womens Team (Italy)
Estado De Mexico Faren (Mexico)
Hitec Products (Norway)
Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team (Netherlands)
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands)
Team Giant-Shimano (Netherlands)
Equipe Nationale Hollandaise (Netherlands)
Bigla Cycling Team (Switzerland)