The director of the Women’s Tour de France has stepped up to defend the endowment offered to the riders on the occasion of the big return of the event next July.
The summer promises to be historic for women’s cycling. Twelve years after its last edition, the women’s Tour de France is about to make a reappearance. A Grande Boucle which will set off from Paris the day the men arrive on the Champs-Élysées and will take the runners to the top of the Planche des Belles-Filles, eight days later. A particularly awaited return which should allow women’s cycling to enter a new era according to Marion Rousse, appointed director of the Women’s Tour last fall.
€250,000 in prize money
“We hope precisely with this Tour de France to give ideas to women and to make women’s cycling on TV not a curiosity but normality”, she confided in an interview with AFP, determined to bridge the huge gap between men’s cycling and its female counterpart. Especially financially. While the riders will share some 2.3 million euros during the next Tour de France, the women will have to settle for 250,000 euros. A gap to put into perspective according to the Northerner.
A false debate?
“If we compare with an eight-day men’s race like the Dauphiné or Paris-Nice, we are above the men’s grid, she confided. Bounties are almost a mock debate. We talk about it a lot but that’s not what girls want to live for. It is more important to see what the Women’s Tour de France will bring: the media impact that we will create and the money that comes with it to have financial stability and allow salaries to increase. »
Before, we had to work on the side
The former French champion also underlined the leap forward that has been observed in recent years. “In six years, it has nothing to do. In WorldTeams, a minimum wage has been introduced. Before, apart from three or four paid girls who fought among themselves, the others, like me, we had to work on the side. There was a big difference in level, she explained. I’ve never known the cars they have now like the men: we changed in the trunks of the cars. We had professional status, but there was nothing professional about it. I found myself in races with cars going the wrong way. »
And the companion of Julian Alaphilippe to continue: “The evolution was felt on TV. There are race strategies put in place. It’s not the same girl who wins every time. A homogeneity appeared. We had to start there before having a women’s Tour de France. » Which is now done.
The women’s Tour de France program
1st stage: Paris Eiffel Tower – Champs-Elysées (82 km)
2nd stage: Meaux – Provins (135 km)
3rd stage: Reims – Epernay (133 km)
4th stage: Troyes – Bar-sur-Aube (126 km)
5th stage: Bar-le-Duc – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (175 km)
6th stage: Saint-Die-des-Vosges – Rosheim (128 km)
7th stage: Sélestat – Le Markstein (127 km)
8th stage: Lure – The Super Planche des Belles Filles (123 km)
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