La Course by Le Tour de France date, course changed due to regional elections in Côtes-d'Armor
ASO announces women will contest similar route to Tour de France stage 1 including Côte de la Fosse aux Loups instead of Mûr de Bretagne
La Course by Le Tour de France, originally scheduled to take place on circuits at Mûr-de-Bretagne on June 27, has been shifted to June 26 and a route similar to that of the Tour de France stage 1 from Brest to Landerneau.
The change, confirmed by ASO, was necessary due to the rescheduling of regional elections held on the same day in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany, according to a report in Ouest France.
Stage 2 of the men's Tour de France held on June 27 will reportedly not be affected by the elections.
The Women’s WorldTour event was set to start in Saint-Brieuc and finish with laps of a circuit at Mûr-de-Bretagne on the morning of June 27, ahead of stage 2 of the Tour de France.
Now, the women will race a 107.4km La Course starting in Brest and finishing with three laps of a 14-kilometre with the finish line atop the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups. "With a total elevation of 1,800m, the challenges of the day should favour the punchiest riders, like the finish at Mûr de Bretagne would have," the ASO said in a press release.
According to Ouest France, the mayors of Saint-Brieuc and Guerlédan, where Mûr-de-Bretagne is located, announced on Wednesday that the women’s one-day event could not take place in their municipalities due to the departmental and regional elections that are now scheduled on the same day. The elections were initially scheduled to take place from June 13-20 but have been postponed and will now take place from June 20-27.
"The women's race will therefore not be able to be held in Saint-Brieuc," announced mayor Hervé Guihard. The mayor of Guerlédan, Hervé Le Lu, confirmed to Ouest France that the women's event will not be hosted in his town either. However, the regional elections will reportedly not affect stage 2 of the Tour de France, which will continue "as usual".
ASO announced the routes for both the Tour de France and La Course last November, with the women’s one-day race held held on five circuits that included six trips up the Mûr de Bretagne for a total distance of 130km. The race was set to also finish on the Mûr de Bretagne, a 2km long climb averaging a 6.9 per cent gradient, but pitching up over 10 per cent in the first kilometre.
The 182km second stage of the men’s Grand Tour is scheduled to start at the coastal town of Perros-Guirec and also finish at the Mûr-de-Bretagne on the afternoon of June 27.
The ASO said the women's race was shifted to June 26 to "adapt the schedule of the race in order to affect as little as possible the access to the polling stations for the citizens living in the area".
UCI President David Lappartient confirmed that ASO will launch a stage race for women in 2022, and Ouest France has reported that Saint-Brieuc has applied to host a stage.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.