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Tour de France- allow women?

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Old 08-09-18, 10:44 AM
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SharonS
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Tour de France- allow women?

What are your thoughts on the Tour de France and absence of women? What is the reasoning behind this? Any efforts to change this?
I think of the Boston Marathon only recently in the early 80's I believe when a woman entered under a man's name and was harassed by the organizer or manager when she was running! any stories or opinions?
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Old 08-09-18, 11:14 AM
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Great question for the Pro Cycling subforum: https://www.bikeforums.net/professional-cycling-fans/

Not so much here in the "fixing bikes" subforum.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:24 AM
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First, I don't think the "Bike Mechanics" forum is the best place to ask this question. The "General Cycling" or "Advocacy and Safety" forums may be more suitable. But, now that you asked.....

The Tour de France and all of the other Pro Tour races are team events and the teams are granted entry by invitation, not as individuals like most running races. I don't believe there is any contractural prohibition for women to participate in the Tour de France, or other Pro Tour events but first one would have to make one of the team rosters and, frankly, the performance capability between the best women and the best men is still insurmountable. For example no woman has come close to winning Boston, New York, London, or any other major marathon and the woman's world's best time is still many minutes behind the men's best. Competing as individuals that is no problem but for a team event it is.

There are many races specifically for women and, indeed, there is a Woman's Pro Tour equivalent but they are not run simultaneously with the men's races on the same course. These women's races used to be far shorter and less demanding than the men's under the assumption that women were "too weak and fragile" to do more but that idea has generally been discredited, even in Europe, and women's races have become longer and harder recently. There may never be physical equality but there is a move to sporting equality.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:28 AM
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It's OK. This has become the Bicycle Mechanics & Minutiae Forum.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:34 AM
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I see no reason women shouldn't be allowed to work as mechanics in the TdF.
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Old 08-09-18, 11:46 AM
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They have a separate women's tour. As for women being on a team (as noted teams are invited), that will happen on meritocracy....when a women is faster, better skilled etc than male riders such that she increases the teams chance of winning, then she will be in the tour. Just like my son's high school football team,,,,the best field goal kick was girl with soccer background, so she started.....and played in a state championship game
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Old 08-09-18, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SharonS View Post
What are your thoughts on the Tour de France and absence of women?
Thread moved from Mechanics forum to Pro Cycling for the Fans forum.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I see no reason women shouldn't be allowed to work as mechanics in the TdF.
The best bike mechanic I have ever met is female. She runs a school for professional bike mechanics
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Old 08-09-18, 02:03 PM
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I'm not sure if this is a sincere question or a troll, but the OP's comparison between marathons and bike road races is misplaced. There's no rational objection to women participating in marathons alongside men - it's an individual sport and it's possible to reward both the fastest men and women in the same event. Road cycling is a team sport. As previously noted, a woman could ride with the men if she had competitive strength and power, but otherwise, it wouldn't make any sense.

It is better to boost individual womens' events. The womens' tour doesn't get as much attention, and there are a number of reasons for this. But plenty of amateur women buy expensive bikes and gear - I think that there are some missed marketing opportunities that could be helped by greater visibility of women's racing.
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Old 08-09-18, 02:15 PM
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Female cyclists seem like an excellent demographic to pitch stuff to (lots of high income professionals) especially "trendy" items with tons of markup. Similar to the audience for sports like golf and tennis, I would think.

But for whatever reason, women riding bikes has never really reached critical mass in the US, the triathlon fad was as close as we ever got to that.

Gravel biking? I dunno, maybe lots of women will start doing that at some point. You can lead a horse to water . . . but if a woman isn't interested in sweating her free time away on a bike, on a dusty gravel road, I'm probably not gonna be the one to convince them it's a smart idea.
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Old 08-09-18, 04:35 PM
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Physiology. Same reason that while the men run with the women, the women are scored as a gender class in a marathon. Men on average are physically larger and have more muscle mass per unit of body weight. Nothing to do with anything but science. Some women can outperform some men ... but when you get to the absolute top of each gender, Most men are larger and stronger than most women.

The women can work just as hard, train just as hard, be just as competitive ... but there is that 10-20 percent physiological advantage men got through whatever source your belief system favors ... we can go with genetics, nature, breeding, inherited characteristics based on patterns of behavior, or the will of the creator or whatever. It is a measurable and undeniable difference, and in sports where it matters, it matters.

There is no reason a specific woman couldn't join the men's tour that I know of ... as others have said, if she can ride well enough to earn the spot, there it is.

I'd actually be more pleased if women's cycling got a lot more attention and coverage. That way there could be twice as many races to watch. Coverage of women's racing is pretty spotty. I don't know why advertisers think people won't watch a bike race because women are riding.

As far as I can tell, in Mountain Biking, the men and women get equal billing and equal coverage ... though the women do generally race fewer laps on the mountain bikes. Same downhill courses, as far as I know.

One of the top five MTB riders on the women's circuit is 45 years old, too ... destroying stereotypes with ever race finish.
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Old 08-09-18, 05:54 PM
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Comparing modern day marathons to the Tour de France is kind of silly.

45,000 "runners" will line up to "race", but only 100 are truly competitive. The rest just tie up the city for 2 days so they can run, jog, walk and crawl to the finish in a scintillating 9 hrs and go yay, I did it!

On the other hand, every rider in the Tour is competitive, essential and important to the race. They are the best in the world, and women would be dropped by the sheer pace, distance, climbs and decents and physicality of the race, and it is a race, not a 5 Borough Bike Tour. So IMHO, we will never see a women in the Tour for the same reason we will never see a female linebacker in football.

Celebrate the differences between men and women. There are women working on the pro cycling teams in the background, more so than on other sports I think.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SharonS View Post
What are your thoughts on the Tour de France and absence of women? What is the reasoning behind this? Any efforts to change this?
I think of the Boston Marathon only recently in the early 80's I believe when a woman entered under a man's name and was harassed by the organizer or manager when she was running! any stories or opinions?
In addition to all the others posts here, and I've not read them all, but there used to be a Tour de France Feminin, last run in 1989 in that format, won in 1987, 88 and 89 by Jeannie Longo (France) and an American (Marianne Martin) in 1984.

Slightly shorter distance and around 18 stages, as opposed the men's 23 - mind the TdeFis shorter these days by quite a margin.

Here's a link to Marianne Martin -

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...eminin-cycling

John.
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Old 08-10-18, 06:46 AM
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They had to stop the Tour Feminin because Longo kept winning it every year.



What an awesome rider! Unbeatable in her day, which lasted several decades.
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Old 08-10-18, 12:21 PM
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There are women in the Tour de France. There's one on the back of a motor bike with a chalk board and always a few on the podium at the end of every stage.
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Old 08-10-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
There are women in the Tour de France. There's one on the back of a motor bike with a chalk board and always a few on the podium at the end of every stage.
Unhelpful. Retrograde.
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Old 08-10-18, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
They have a separate women's tour.

If by "tour" you mean a random one-day women's race in France sponsored by ASO around the time the TdF is happening....sure. But calling to call it a "tour" is inaccurate.
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Old 08-10-18, 08:11 PM
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Just lol at this question. It like when Martha Burke said the PGA Tour should move The Masters from Augusta. Just lol.

Do you post on NFL or NBA forums why there are no women in the league?
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Old 08-10-18, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
If by "tour" you mean a random one-day women's race in France sponsored by ASO around the time the TdF is happening....sure. But calling to call it a "tour" is inaccurate.
No, he probably meant the UCIs Women’s World Tour.
They have races for women and everything.

Road - UCI Women?s WorldTour
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Old 08-10-18, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post


No, he probably meant the UCIs Women’s World Tour.
They have races for women and everything.

Road - UCI Women?s WorldTour
The UCI does...but the Tour doesn't.

FWIW...the women's races tend to be more interesting than the men's UCI races. Well, until the UCI Channel on YouTube quit streaming any of their races last year or the year before....of course, even that required VPNing into the EU due to arcane copyright law that keeps that content locked there and not anywhere else
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Old 08-10-18, 09:21 PM
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Look at the numbers... how many women are wanting to ride about 21 centuries (on avg) in that heat?
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Old 08-10-18, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Just lol at this question. It like when Martha Burke said the PGA Tour should move The Masters from Augusta. Just lol.

Do you post on NFL or NBA forums why there are no women in the league?
I completely agree, it is a laughable question, and the fact that the OP hasn't been back to respond confirms that. Troll.

I feel like an idiot that I even tried to give this question merit, because it has none.
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Old 08-10-18, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Look at the numbers... how many women are wanting to ride about 21 centuries (on avg) in that heat?
Plenty. The stage profiles alone aren't a problem for top-level road racers at all; anyone competing in the women's WorldTour would have no trouble riding the course of the Tour de France in 3 weeks. The reason the men have difficulty with it is that they're racing an extremely competitive race over that distance against the other top men. Women competing in a similar women's event would be racing an extremely competitive race over that distance against the other top women, and would end up challenged to a fairly similar degree.

The issue is that grand tours are rather expensive, you need a lot of exposure to bring in enough advertising revenue to make it worth it for everyone who would need to be involved. And Women's WorldTour just doesn't have the exposure that the men's races have.
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Old 08-11-18, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Unhelpful. Retrograde.
You no doubt watched La Course, the one day race on the route of the mountain stage 10 of this year's TdF like I did.

There's also the Giro Rosa a ten day stage race which took place this year at the same time as the first week of the TdF. If you watched the highlights then you will have noticed the podium girls were there at end of each stage, not unlike in the TdF.

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Old 08-11-18, 11:15 AM
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With the exception of ultra-distance running and swimming there isn't any women's world record that is faster than the boy's high school world record.
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