ASO, owners of the Tour de France, are reportedly looking to the United States for sponsors for a week-long women’s edition of the race, which will run alongside the men’s event.
In July, a one-day women’s race, La Course by Le Tour, was held on the same Champs-Elysées circuit where Vincenzo Nibali of Astana sealed his overall victory in the 101st Tour de France later that evening.
World champion Marianne Vos, who co-founded the group Le Tour Entier to put pressure on ASO to stage a women’s version of the race, leading to the creation of La Course, won the sprint in Paris that afternoon.
Bloomberg reports that ASO is specifically seeking a US sponsor to support a women’s stage race, because La Course received more attention from the other side of the Atlantic than it did in Europe.
Jean-Etienne Amaury, president of the family-owned company, told Bloomberg: "It would make sense" if an American country sponsored the race, adding, "there was a pretty strong audience in the United States."
He added that running a women’s race alongside the men’s one would incur extra costs due to putting signage and additional advertising banners up, and that it would also cost more to broadcast the race.
California-based bike brand Specialized sponsored this year’s first edition of La Course; here’s a video they produced of it, called One Glorious Day in Paris.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.