WORDS OF SUPPORT:

Creating a Women’s Tour de France is a key step in elevating women’s professional cycling.  As excitement and interest continues to build at an amazing rate in women’s professional cycling, competing on this global stage in one of the sport’s most prestigious races is crucial to the growth of women’s cycling competitions and a movement the Women’s Cycling Association strongly supports.

Robin Farina – Women’s Cycling Association (WCA) President 

 

Britain has some of the best women cyclists in the world – but for years they had to compete for foreign teams as there was no investment in an elite women’s team. Overall, women’s sport misses out compared to men’s sport: women’s sport only receives 0.5% of total sports sponsorship in the UK and only 4% of sports coverage in national and local newspapers is dedicated to women’s sport. The Grand Départ being held in Yorkshire and from Cambridge to London in 2014 presents a great opportunity to hold a women’s event and set an example to the rest of Europe and Le Tour.  After the success of the Olympics, women’s cycling should not be allowed to slip back into the shadows.

Harriet Harman – Labour Deputy Leader

 

Yes there should ideally be a women’s TDF. Why?: (1) Good women’s cycling is as exciting as good men’s cycling just as a good game of women’s tennis is as good as a good game of men’s tennis.  The women train as hard as the men – in fact relative to the resources at their disposal they train harder! (2) to be successful (commercially and as spectacles), many sports need an ‘anchor event’ at various levels – the TDF is that event for men’s cycling.  For women’s cycling to achieve the success it deserves anything else will always seem a little ’2nd rate’ – I actually think a women’s TDF would catalyse interest in and raise the profile of other events; (3) it just ‘feels’ right in a world with (appropriately) greater equality that there should be a women’s TDF; (4) there is a chicken and egg issue that women’s cycling cannot start to move towards achieving its potential until it has an anchor event and it can’t have an anchor event until it has greater financial resources, recognition and success.

Humphrey Cobbold – CEO of Wiggle

 

I would love to do it.  I think it would be really exciting to have a women’s Tour de France and we can prove our racing is just as exciting as the men’s.  If you ask people on the street what the most famous bike race is I think they’d all say the Tour de France so for there to be a women’s Tour de France would be brilliant for women’s road cycling.”  (See news story featuring Dani’s quotes here)

Dani King MBE  - Olympic and World team pursuit champion.

 

There’s been a lot of attention recently on the need to develop women’s cycling at all levels of the sport and it is a key part of my election manifesto for the presidency of the UCI.  People are passionate about the issue and are rightly frustrated that not enough is being done.  We need to work closely with organisers, sponsors, teams and broadcasters to create new events on the professional calendar.  A women’s equivalent of the Tour de France is one potential solution and the focus of attention of a really successful petition.  Undoubtedly having a female equivalent of the biggest bike race in the world is an objective we need to explore.

Brian Cookson – British Cycling President

 

CTC established our women’s racing team, Team CTC, to highlight the shocking imbalance between support for the men’s and women’s sports.  Cycling is for everyone, and we’re thrilled to see the surge of support for a women’s Tour de France.  Equality in cycling is long overdue; I’ve signed the petition, and I hope many CTC members will join me.” (See news story featuring Gordon’s quoteshere)

Gordon Seabright – CTC Chief Executive

 

What an amazing idea Le Tour Entier is.  A women’s Tour de France would be a true sporting spectacle.  Before 1984 there was no women’s marathon in the Olympic Games.  Look at how things have changed and women’s marathoning has moved on.  Chrissie Wellington breaking in long distance triathlon, Paula Radcliffe in marathoning and many other women in many different disciplines across the globe have repeatedly shown that women have endurance.  I look forward to seeing my endurance cycling colleagues from around the world take on the biggest cycling race in the world.  This will help to further break down the gender barrier that exists in sport at all levels, it will promoting great female role models for generations to come, and inspire local, national and international women and girls to be active, achieve more and succeed more.  Good luck Le Tour Entier.

Liz Yelling – 2 time GBR Olympic marathon runner & 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist