Impossible to organise women's Tour de France in July, says Prudhomme

Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has said it would be impossible to stage a full women's Tour de France during the men's race in July. Prudhomme said he still wanted to develop women’s cycling but that the logistics of it would prevent organiser ASO from running two stage races concurrently in July.

Hosting the Tour de France requires a lot of work with the authorities and there is a travelling band of police and firefighters. According to an article published by Velon, some 29,000 police officers, gendarmes, and fire-fighters were sent by the French Home office during the 2018 race.

"I would not know how to organise a second event during the Tour de France," Prudhomme told presenter Guillaume di Grazia on Eurosport’s Bistrot Vélo programme. "We do not know, and we would never get permission. It is impossible to do.

"We organise many other competitions and want to develop women's cycling, but this is a no. Simply because we do not know how to do that during the Tour de France."

ASO currently runs the one-day La Course during the Tour de France, but there have been calls for ASO to revive a multi-day version of the event. UCI president David Lappartient has urged ASO to expand the event to 10 days and add a women’s Paris-Roubaix – another race run by ASO – to the calendar.

There was previously a women’s race called the Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale that ran for 26 editions before it was cancelled after the 2009 race, which was won by Emma Pooley. At present, the only Grand Tour on the women’s calendar is the 10-day Giro d’Italia Femminile (also known as the Giro Rosa), which has run since 1988, though it was not held in 1991 and 1992.

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