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 ?

1 comment:

  1. Skippy: The last thing we cyclists riding The Tour route on the day of The Tour need is for a longer road closure. I'd propose having the women ride the course a day ahead of the men. If they did that, then the organizers would have to put up the course markers two days ahead of time, rather than just one, making it easier for those who are riding ahead of the course to follow the route.

    Keep up the good work, George