ASO, owners of the Tour de France, are reportedly looking to the United States for sponsors for a week-long women’s edition of the race, which will run alongside the men’s event.
In July, a one-day women’s race, La Course by Le Tour, was held on the same Champs-Elysées circuit where Vincenzo Nibali of Astana sealed his overall victory in the 101st Tour de France later that evening.
World champion Marianne Vos, who co-founded the group Le Tour Entier to put pressure on ASO to stage a women’s version of the race, leading to the creation of La Course, won the sprint in Paris that afternoon.
Bloomberg reports that ASO is specifically seeking a US sponsor to support a women’s stage race, because La Course received more attention from the other side of the Atlantic than it did in Europe.
Jean-Etienne Amaury, president of the family-owned company, told Bloomberg: "It would make sense" if an American country sponsored the race, adding, "there was a pretty strong audience in the United States."
He added that running a women’s race alongside the men’s one would incur extra costs due to putting signage and additional advertising banners up, and that it would also cost more to broadcast the race.
California-based bike brand Specialized sponsored this year’s first edition of La Course; here’s a video they produced of it, called One Glorious Day in Paris.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.