Ever since I started writing this blog (about two and a half years ago) I’ve been following the women’s pro peleton. Prior to that, I have to admit I only followed the men’s, mostly because it was easily accessible with lots of TV and media coverage. Over those two and a half years I’ve learnt how to find information about the women’s tour and I think that 2014 is going to be big year for the women, and here’s a few reasons why.
UCI Women’s commission headed up by Tracey Gaudry
Last year Australian former pro cyclist Tracey Gaudry was named as one of three Vice Presidents of the UCI. That followed her earlier appointment as the President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation. That gives her two big roles and I’m sure she’s up to the challenge.
A new Women’s Commission of the UCI has also been formed and has already met for the first time to start planning its work.
I was lucky enough to meet Tracey at a forum in January and will be interviewing her in the next month or so for an upcoming blog post.
Tour de France race
An historic deal to stage a new women’s road race that will finish on the Champs-Élysées on the final day of the Tour de France has been announced.
The first “La Course by le Tour de France” will take place on 27 July 2014 as part of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) elite women’s calendar.
It represents the first time since 1989 that women will race alongside men at the most iconic race finish in the world.
Sadly for me I won’t get to see it in person but I’m hopeful it will be televised so I can record it, because I’ll be on a plane on my way home from a holiday in Peru on 27 July.
British Women’s tour
The Tour of Britain has announced a new women’s stage race that will be run in May and it has received the UCI’s top status. Hopefully coverage of this won’t be drowned out by the men’s Giro D’Italia.
Dutch superstar Marianne Voss has announced that she will be riding the tour which guarantees that all the teams will send their top guns.
UCI TV Commitment
As well as the UCI’s Women’s Commission and appointment of Tracey, it has already announced that it is setting out to transform the broadcast coverage of the women’s elite cycling’s premier series, the UCI Women’s Road World Cup. I believe that the UCI will actually fund the TV coverage in 2014 to help give it a kickstart. A really fantastic initiative. I certainly look forward to tuning in and just hope it reaches our fair shores.
Social media leads the way
While women’s pro cycling has been neglected in mainstream media, it certainly doesn’t suffer when it comes to social media. Women are particularly good at using social media and there’s heaps of great places to keep up with the women’s tour. A couple of blog posts I’ve recently read sum it up well….