This year it's wonderful to hear of so many women that are enjoying watching the Tour de France Femmes and getting passionate about seeing women perform at a high level. It's great that women's cycling is getting more coverage. But why has it so important?
I think every women can agree that a some point in their life someone has question what they are doing and perhaps suggested that it's beyond them or not suitable for their capabilities.
Therefore, it's really important that we are getting the opportunity to follow inspiring women, so we can overcome boundaries that are often put in front of us and achieve more in life and open up more opportunities.
Now, finally the Tour de France does have a tour specifically for women, I think one of the biggest successes that will come is that it is highlighting the lack of opportunities that women have in cycling. Firstly, the tour is only 8 days, compared to 21 day for men. Are we giving out the message that women are not strong enough to manage a full 21 days?
In addition, for all women's races, there tends not to be TV coverage for the complete race, only the last part, where as for the men's events there's a full 6+ hours everyday of every tiny small event unfolding. Is this highlighting that there is less investment into women's cycling and it's not important to watch.
Then we have have to look at the inequality in pay. On a recent survey by "The Cyclists' Alliance", it showed that some women competing in the Tour de France Femmes, are not being paid to as a professional cyclists and have to have other jobs to support themselves. This makes it difficult to evolve the female peloton. I'm sure we all know the struggles of fitting in training around a work schedule, imagine having to do that and compete against those that have the luxury to dedicate their life to the sport. Then also we have to look at the risk that cycling involves.
Personally I love watching women's racing and I find it much more exciting that men's cycling. No only as I can relate as a women, but for the passion, determination and and what can happen when we as women really overcome boundaries.
I hope you enjoy that last few stages, on Saturday I expect it will be a definitive stage finishing on Col du Tourmalet and on Sunday finish the tour with a Time Trail.