Two years since the disappearance of the Tour de l'Aude left a gaping hole in the women's UCI calendar, the province will once again host the sport's top females with the newly minted UCI 2.2 Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon Féminin, velo-club.net announced this week. The race will take place from May 18-23, 2012.
Three of the departments in the region are expected to host the race: Hérault, Pyrénées-Orientales and Aude, and in later years it could expand to Gard and Lozère.
According to velo-club.net, the race is being organised by the regional club Villemoustaussou Trapel Vélo and some of the volunteers involved in the Tour de l'Aude, and is expected to have six road stages and no individual time trial. One stage may take in the Col du Portel, which will also be used in the Tour de France, and a summit finish at the ski station in Camurac in Aude.
The 2012 UCI Women's calendar holds only 10 UCI 2.1 stage races, the longest of which are the 10-day Giro Donne (Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile) and nine-day Route de France. While only ranked 2.2, the Tour de Languedoc-Roussillon is one of only seven races, included the aforementioned tours, to exceed five days in length.