It has long been considered a controversial race having been dubbed a ‘sideshow’ of the Tour de France in the past, despite its popularity, but the women’s peloton are still excited to be back racing on the Women's WorldTour at La Course by Le Tour de France in Brest on June 26.
After taking third place at the Danish Road Championships in both the road race and time trial events, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope rider Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is looking forward to racing La Course.
“Super excited to be riding La Course this weekend,” the 25-year-old told Cyclingnews. “It’s the last year of the race in this format before the women’s Tour de France next year, so there’s so much good energy going into it.”
ASO, organisers of the Tour de France and La Course, have not confirmed that Saturday’s race will be the final edition of La Course. However, with the introduction of the Tour de France Femmes for 2022, and the omission of the race from the 2022 Women's WorldTour calendar, it has been assumed that La Course will not continue after this year.
Uttrup Ludwig has had an impressively consistent season starting with a fifth place at Strade Bianche and third at Trofeo Alfredo Binda before going on to win her first Women’s WorldTour race on stage 3 of Vuelta a Burgos Feminas last month.
The Danish rider will represent her country at the Tokyo Olympic Games alongside Emma Norsgaard of Movistar, who took the national time trial title last weekend. Uttrup Ludwig has been a vocal critic of the course in Tokyo, lamenting the omission of the lower slopes of Mount Fuji in the women’s race.
Speaking ahead of La Course, which will be raced in Bretagne over 107km along some of the same roads as stage 1 of the men’s Tour de France, Uttrup Ludwig said, “the roads in Bretagne are always unpredictable and exciting and I know it will be raced full on and with a lot of guts.”
The Danish rider took third place at La Course in 2019 on the roads in Pau and will be amongst the favourites on Saturday. The team may also be riding for newly-crowned French national champion Evita Muzic, however, who also took the final stage of the Giro Rosa in 2020.
“With Evita and her new French champs jersey, we are all there to show it off on French ground as well,” Uttrup Ludwig said. “The team has been so strong and united in the spring so there’s great vibes for us.”
A dream come true!!!!!💭✨🌈I am (together with @emmanorsgaard1 ) going to represent Denmark at the Olympic Games in Tokyo🇯🇵🤩😍🥳 Excited is an understatement‼️ I will wear the Danish colours with pride🇩🇰💯 #allfordenmark pic.twitter.com/xCA4ZNZ01vJune 24, 2021
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