When talking about cycling, July is synonymous with the Tour de France. Names like Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana or Tom Dumoulin come to mind when we hear those three words during these days. But there are some names riding this grueling trek around France this year that you may not have heard before; names like Anna Barrero (@annacycling, one of our VeloGuides) or Claire Floret and another 11 women who are staking their claim to their right to ride the Tour de France!
Donnons des elles au vélo J-1 (Give them the bike)
Women are not allowed in the Tour de France anymore. The official Tour de France Féminin took place between 1984 and 1989, and hasn’t been around since. In the following years it was revived in different forms, however it wasn’t the same as the men’s tour; it was shortened, weakened and ultimately not the same gruelling challenge the men were racing. In the end, it was cancelled.
In 2014, a group of women, with the goal of fighting against inequality between men and women in this sport, created a complete Tour de France ridden by women called “Donnons des elles au vélo J-1”. These women are riding the 21 stages of the tour a day earlier than the men to show that women once again deserve their own race!
“The project is only 4 years old. In the first year we were 3 girls, then we were 7, then 11 and now we are 13. When we started we didn’t know each other and we ended up as a family.” explains Anna.
“We are fighting for equality, gender and for the return of a Tour de France for women with same condition as men”, she adds.
Claire Floret, rider and project coordinator comments: "We do it for the challenge, not for the competition".
They have been posting their progress along the route and dozens of cyclists have joined them.
All the cycling fans are welcome to ride…if they can keep a 25 to 27 km/h pace as Claire confirms, men included.
Follow the tour daily @desELLESauVELO and ride with our warrior and VeloGuide Anna Barrero from Rennes, France.
If you want to book a ride with Anna Barrero, or one of our VeloGuides in France, just sign up and book a ride that works for you. But, for Anna, it will have to be after Tour is over! Maybe give her a few days to rest too.
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