By Amy Moritz
Sunday morning, 21 women’s teams raced around the famed cobblestones of the Champs Elysees. It was the third year of La Course – the one day the women get a stage in conjunction with the men-only Tour de France in a 13-lap, 89-kilometer (55.3 mile) race.
Australian Chloe Hosking of Wiggle High5 won the 2016 event and stood on a podium in Paris, the dream of many professional cyclists.
Women cyclists deserve a longer stage race in conjunction with the Tour de France.
The women have one grand tour left – the 10-stage Giro d’Italia Femminile, and it’s the longest stage race on the women’s calendar because the international cycling body (UCI) has decided women can’t race for longer than seven days. And for those who think women couldn’t handle the rigors of a long, grueling tour, a team of seven women (called “Donnons des Elle au Velo J-1”) just completed the Tour de France by riding each stage one day in advance of the men.
It’s time to give women the opportunity to succeed or fail without paternalistic sport governance.