Friday, November 23, 2012


Prompted by an item on and a reference to a blog item by " Cycling Tips ", i took time to comment about what would be required to make the " Womens'Race " on the route of the " Le Tour " a success ! Below is the comment i made , adding to all the over worthwhile contributions . 

  "  From " Duane Gran" :  " The suggestion to run a women's TdF ( Gilmore's Idea ) , during the same time makes great sense.  The spectators and media are already there.  The roads are already closed.  You just need a bit longer road closure.  I'm confident it would raise awareness."
Currently the Gendarmerie are closing the roads for about 3hrs before the Men's Race passes , and supposedly 15 mins after for " Safety Reasons ", seems that some racers , behind the main Peloton , can be forgotten by those impatient to make their escape , after enduring hours of inactivity . During this time " journos , Vendors of Newspapers and Souvenirs , VIP vehicles and Sponsor Vehicles " blast through without consideration for Spectators forced to sit in " resticted areas " , marshalled by " volunteers & Policing resources . Parents with children must be fraught with anxiety and as for dogs attacking Racers through being brought there by thoughtless " Fans " , all makes for " An Accident waiting to Happen "? When the " Sponsors Caravan " appears , boredom having set in , causes people to surge to the side of the road , regardless of the inherent dangers . Some Sponsors resort to tossing the Souvenirs overhead and thus behind the those crowding the roadside . The days of the personal touch are long gone , in the interests of safety .
Currently there is a group of " Young Cyclists " sponsored to ride 25+km at the start and the final 25+km to the finish line , additionally " Le Tour " sell the " Rights to cycle across the line " to their " Official Tour Operators " , all adding to the confusion in the arrival area , as the Racers approach  the finish .

With the final hours of each day's race already being broadcast , all the ingredients are in place to broadcast a " Women's race " , whether the French TV network , broadcasting on behalf of all networks , would make extra motor bike cameras and helicopter facilities available to " Le Tour " , will be the question that requires an answer ? 

Seems that little needs to be added to create a successful Event ? 

What does Amaury ( ASO )  , the owners of the " Le Tour " have to lose by adding a " Womens' Race "? Tightening the time spent on the roads by vehicles , even making more Vehicles use " Off Route Access " to the rear area of the finish would create enough time to allow the Women's Race to arrive at the finish line in the hour before the Men's Race !

A Women's Race will mostly require a Separate Start line , but as we know , the racing time is predictable and thus the Women's Race Start would create an additional " Money Spinner " for " ASO " along the route . Perhaps this start point , could be used also , as a " Sprint Line " for the Men's Race ? 

In previous blog posts i have advocated the need for " UCI "and thus all Grand Tours such as  " Le Tour " , to introduce a Mandatory " Driving License " for ALL driving on the " Race Routes " ! This sensible precaution ,  will prevent the type of accident involving Flecha & Boogerland , as they fought to win an Etappe at the " Le Tour " , some years back . Currently once " Accreditation " is granted , there is insufficient oversight of " Accreditated Vehicles " , who is responsible  for sanctioning drivers ?  With the Women's race requiring the provision of additional " Gendarmerie Motor Cycle Escort ", there appears to be little difficulty , in ensuring their safe and efficient passage along the Race Route to the finish line .

Have i missed any reasons , that the " Womens' Race could be a successful addition to the " Le Tour "daily  programme ? " ASO " will take a few years to evaluate this worthwhile idea . One year , Chris Prudhomme was so pleased to tell me of  making provision for a Para Athlete ,to ride the Final ITT !  Had he been reporting an event ,  involving  racers from many countries , then it would have been worthy of reporting . " ASO "forgot to arrange for the broadcast of the efforts of Laurent Thironet , and the resulting time taken . Even the " Host Ville Tourist Office " was unaware of this Event , unscheduled in their programme . Even the Giro d'Italia forgot to advise the Media , about a " Hand Bike Race " that took place before the Sunday  ITT .  Even francesco Moser rode past with his Groupette of " Sponsors' Guests " without being aware that there were 30+ Handbikes from all around Italy assembled to race the final section of the ITT route , into the finish line . Seems Para Athletes are another " minority " that Organisers tend to overlook ? "

Perhaps some of you will take the time to contribute ideas that will move this worthwhile idea mooted by Rochelle Gilmore towards a successful result .

Seems that this comment was not accepted , as the comments appear to have been closed ! Wonder why ?