Tour de France? All very well but why is it men only? The BBC asks.
Former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke says it is a “scandal” there is no longer a Tour de France for women, blaming sexism in cycling.
The men’s race, which starts in Leeds on Saturday, is now an iconic event, but the women’s Tour last ran in 2009.
(Sigh – there’s that dopy use of “iconic” again.)
“It’s a scandal there isn’t a Tour for women at the moment,” the 31-year-old said in an interview with BBC Breakfast.
“In the 1980s, there was a women’s Tour de France. It was held over the same stages as the men’s race. They celebrated with equality.
“Since then, women’s cycling has kind of been swept under the mat.”
The women’s Tour has been staged on and off, in numerous guises, since 1984 and was won by Cooke in 2006 and 2007.
It began life as the Tour de France Feminin and was rebranded the Grande Boucle in 1998, but has slowly dwindled in size.
As Kate Smurthwaite said in a public Facebook post –
What channel is the women’s Tour de France on? … Oh … Oh really. Well then FUCK YOU. Seriously how dare these people put all that time and effort into building dreams for our sons and not our daughters? If the race was whites-only there would be uproar. **commences uproar**
On with the uproar, I say.