Women's Tour de France campaigners publish manifesto
Campaigners for women's cycling outline their aims
Top campaigners behind the re-introduction of a women's Tour de France have today published a manifesto outlining their aims for women's cycling.
Leading the campaign are four-time World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington, Marianne Vos - the most decorated female cyclist in history, Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley and professional cyclist and journalist Kathryn Bertine.
Thus far 93000 people have signed a petition by the group which aims to force the introduction of a women's race to run alongside the men's Tour.
Le Tour Entier's document also calls for a variety of other revamps to the structure of women's professional cycling including the revision of the current race and stage length restrictions for women.
It has been shared with the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the ASO (the organiser of the Tour de France).
"We must revamp the entire structure of women's cycling," Bertine said.
"We have to elevate all of women's cycling so it is sustainable. It's about having a Tour de Everything, all the opportunities that the men have as well.
"Right now, we need change. We believe that Brian Cookson, in his manifesto, presents an opportunity for women's cycling to move forward.
"If Pat McQuaid wins [a third term as UCI president, due to be voted on this month], my biggest fear is that nothing will happen."
Current Olympic and World road cycling champion Vos said that with the profile of the Tour de France, a women's race could force real change for the sport.
"My dream is to give women's cycling a bigger platform, to help it have a brighter future and to show the world the beauty of the races," said the Dutchwoman.
A women's Tour de France is not a new idea, it existed between 1984 and 1989 and was re-formed in 2004 with Pooley winning the last instalment in 2009 before it was discontinued.
"The Tour de France, as one of the biggest sporting events in the world provides a great opportunity to make the actual change.”
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