Britain's Laura Trott hasn't give up hope for a women's Tour de France, saying the race could be significantly shorter than the men's race – possibly even a one-day race to start out with. And that one day could be someplace spectacular, like the Champs Elysees or the Alpe d'Huez.
One possibility, which would have raise awareness of women's cycling, would be to run such a one-stage event during the men's Tour. “Maybe the women could compete the Paris stage or – even though it’s massive task – Alpe d’Huez, while the men’s Tour is being broadcast.”
One problem with that plan is that the women's Giro d'Italia is held in July, and it would be important not to conflict with that, one of the most important stage races on the women's calendar.
“The first thing is to shorten the stages, but more importantly not to run it at the same time as the men’s tour,” she told Eurosport.
“We would lose other events like the women’s Giro, which runs at the same time. The Giro is a huge event for women’s cycling and it would show a lack of respect to run the Tour at the same time.”
Another idea would be to have a shorter stage race, “five to seven days perhaps,” to be held after the men's race.
“A shorter women’s Tour – or maybe even a single stage – would be a way to raise awareness. The events we have at the minute aren’t televised, which is why the interest is low. We need to get it on telly a bit more.
“Women’s track cycling is huge, but there must be a reason why road cycling isn’t, and the only reason is the lack of TV coverage. With TV comes sponsors, and that’s what we’re lacking – sponsors.”
There has been a recent push to re-establish a women's Tour de France. Tour director Christian Prudhomme rejected the idea of holding it simultaneously with the men's race, calling it logistically impossible.