La Course by Le Tour de France will change dates from its original July 23 place on the 2019 Women's WorldTour calendar to July 19, so that it aligns with the Tour de France stage held in Pau on the same day. The women will race a hilly circuit race, designed for the puncheurs of the peloton, using the same course as the men's stage 13 individual time trial.
"Yes, La Course by Le Tour will take place on July 19th in Pau," a representative of ASO told Cyclingnews on Friday. "It's a classic race (mass-start) not an ITT, and the riders will complete five times the ITT [men’s circuit]."
The new date will not conflict with the Giro Rosa held from July 5-14, but it will, however, overlap with the UCI 2.1-ranked BeNe Ladies Tour held from July 18-21 in Belgium.
ASO provided limited details about next year’s La Course race during the presentation of the 2019 Tour de France route at the Palais des Congrès in Paris on Thursday.
The women will race along a circuit, the same course as the men's 27km time trial on stage 13, and they will complete five laps for a total of 120km.
The route will include a climb over the Côte d’Esquillot, making the circuit a challenge but one that could suit the one-day Classics specialists and possibly even the sprinters.
La Course by Le Tour de France was established by ASO in 2014 as a circuit race on the Champs Elysées on the final day of the Tour de France. Those races were won by Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen and Chloe Hosking.
The race shifted to a two-day event in 2017, which saw a summit finish on the Col d'Izoard, held on the same day as stage 18 of the men’s race, followed by a handicapped time trial in Marseille, both won by Annemiek Van Vleuten. Last year’s event returned to a one-day format, a mountainous road race linking Annecy and to Le Grand-Bornand, also won by Van Vleuten in a showdown against runner-up Van der Breggen.
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