Labour deputy wants women’s Tour

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has written to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme calling for a women’s race at the event.

Harman wants a women’s race at next year’s Tour,

which starts in Leeds.

British cyclist Emma Pooley was one of four riders who

published a petition to resurrect the event, last held in 2009.

“After the success of the Olympics, women’s cycling should not be allowed to slip back into the shadows,” Harman wrote in her letter to Prudhomme.

Next year’s Tour runs between Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield on 5 and 6 July next year before moving on to Cambridge and London on 7 July.

Chris Froome

was crowned as Tour de France champion on Sunday,

the second successive British winner – following

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ success in 2012.

“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,” added Harman.

“The Grand Depart 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.”

More than 70,000 people have signed a petition launched earlier this year by Britain’s

former world champion

and

2008 Olympic time trial silver medallist

Pooley, Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos, St Kitts and Nevis national champion Kathryn Bertine and British ironman triathlon champion Chrissie Wellington.

The International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling’s governing body,

has rules in place that limit the distance women can ride 

in a single stage to much less than men.

It means a female Tour alongside the current event would not be possible unless they started or finished stages in different places.

The women’s Tour began in 1984 but has not been run since 2009, mainly due to problems finding sponsors.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23424137

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