Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

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Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby chriscole » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:37 am

Hi folks,

Just curious about whether there's a rule precluding women from participating in the Tour de France?

I'm aware of the physiologic / commercial / etc reasons why it doesn't happen, but is there actually a rule that says you have to be male to compete?

Cheers!
Chris
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by BNA » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:57 am

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:57 am

Often wondered this myself, why there is no womens' division in the big tours. There certainly should be.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby Shred931 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:03 pm

It's called a time limit lol
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:05 pm

Largely a reflection of audience tastes, sadly. The money on offer for women athletes is pretty poor by comparison to men. :(
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:18 pm

Pretty easy actually - under UCI rules the maximum length of a stage in a womens stage race is limited to 130km. The maximum stage distance for men is 240km.

Few TdF stages would be as short as 130km.
Last edited by RonK on Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby bychosis » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:22 pm

trailgumby wrote:Largely a reflection of audience tastes, sadly. The money on offer for women athletes is pretty poor by comparison to men. :(

Posssible exception is tennis, but who wants to watch tennis anyway?

I wonder how much extra work it would be to run a women's division within the bigger events. same course, same staffing etc. would women drafting men be an issue? My only experience is that the MTB enduro events I have been in state that women shouldn't draft men (as a team) during the race. O is a possible solution a delayed start for the ladies?

Edit: UCI rules on length noted.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby DoogleDave » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 pm

In this day and age I'm surprised they don't run a Womens division. Surely they could setup a Womens start line along the mens course that would still fit within UCI length regulations?

If they were to start at the same time surely the men wouldn't catch them up....or they could start earlier to ensure they'd have enough time to finish before the men did.

With the likes of the Honda Wiggle team on TV, I'm sure they'd get plenty of guys watching :shock:

And imagine someone like Victoria Pendelton heading up the Team SKY Womens team.....

I say bring it on!

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby chriscole » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:38 pm

RonK wrote:Pretty easy actually - under UCI rules the maximum length of a stage in a womens stage race is limited to 130km. The maximum stage distance for men is 240km.

Few TdF stages would be as short as 130km.



Thanks, Ron. Essentially that's what I was curious about. Very aware of the other limitations (popularity, sponsorship issues, slower speeds, etc.) but was unsure about any actual regulations forbidding / precluding it.

Cheers!
Chris
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby biker jk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:44 pm

A women's Tour de France was run from 1984 to 2009 (no race in 1990, 1991 and 2004). It was 10-15 stages in length until shortened from 2005. The race struggled to attract sponsorship.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:52 pm

Interestingly the TdF is letting a guy with one leg be the first rider to start tonight's time trial.

Maybe time & comments like yours will help promote women's cycling. Listening to mainstream media you wouldn't know that the Giro Rosa was on during the first week of the TdF, with Australian Shara Gillow of the Orica AIS squad finishing 4th overall
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:54 pm

DoogleDave wrote:Surely they could setup a Womens start line along the mens course that would still fit within UCI length regulations?

Managing a rolling road closure to cover both fields could be very difficult.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby Sparx » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:58 pm

Did you know the women's version of the Giro the overall winner gets the massive sum of 450 Euros?!

Women's professional cycling is a shambles.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby Tornado » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:58 pm

If it was on TV, I'd watch it. Although with the mens tour I'm interested in the tactics, who is placed where and what is going on generally, I find I spend 3 quarters of it looking at Castles anyway. I'm sure the womens tour would be as scenic if not more so. :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby chriscole » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:16 pm

DoogleDave wrote:In this day and age I'm surprised they don't run a Womens division. Surely they could setup a Womens start line along the mens course that would still fit within UCI length regulations?

If they were to start at the same time surely the men wouldn't catch them up....or they could start earlier to ensure they'd have enough time to finish before the men did.

With the likes of the Honda Wiggle team on TV, I'm sure they'd get plenty of guys watching :shock:

And imagine someone like Victoria Pendelton heading up the Team SKY Womens team.....

I say bring it on!

Dave


Hell yes. I'd be much more inclined to watch women's racing than men's. They're almost as fast, they're at least as competitive, and at the risk of sounding terribly politically incorrect, let's face it.... girls, you're a _hell_ of a lot more aesthetically pleasing than we are (even if we do have silky smooth legs). ;-)

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:18 pm

Certain races now have equal prize money, mainly in the US ( maybe Oz? ) and UCI organized events... Bit few and far between though.
Some classics have a women's race finishing before the men's... Just starting in line with the shorter distance.
That will probably never happen in the TDF as the logistics wouldn't be possible.
Pretty simple though... If enough people were interested in watching women's events the equality and coverage would arrive soon enough.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby chriscole » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:19 pm

RonK wrote:
DoogleDave wrote:Surely they could setup a Womens start line along the mens course that would still fit within UCI length regulations?

Managing a rolling road closure to cover both fields could be very difficult.


Or just ditch the UCI length regulations which seem quite anachronistic and arbitrary. There is no physiologic reason why a woman can't cycle just as far as a man... she's just going to do it (on average) a little slower.

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby chriscole » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:22 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Certain races now have equal prize money, mainly in the US ( maybe Oz? ) and UCI organized events... Bit few and far between though.
Some classics have a women's race finishing before the men's... Just starting in line with the shorter distance.
That will probably never happen in the TDF as the logistics wouldn't be possible.
Pretty simple though... If enough people were interested in watching women's events the equality and coverage would arrive soon enough.




Well, if you'd like to start a petition... I'd be happy to sign it. :)

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby thecaptn » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:32 pm

There's equal prize money awarded at the melbourne open but the men have to play extra sets to get it so it's not equal at all.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby bychosis » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:53 pm

thecaptn wrote:There's equal prize money awarded at the melbourne open but the men have to play extra sets to get it so it's not equal at all.

So this is a case where the women's re getting paid more.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby Summernight » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:59 pm

thecaptn wrote:There's equal prize money awarded at the melbourne open but the men have to play extra sets to get it so it's not equal at all.


I have no problem with women's tennis playing 5 sets at grand slams (just like the men do). I don't understand why this hasn't been done already. The men play 3 sets at non-grand slams and 5 at grand slams. There shouldn't be a difference.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:09 pm

thecaptn wrote:There's equal prize money awarded at the melbourne open but the men have to play extra sets to get it so it's not equal at all.

Equal pay in sport is not, to me, a compelling argument. Mostly because in some demographics there are less participants. Disabled sports are the same. I would not credit the top forty women playing aussie rules at the top level of women's footy to be on a par with the top forty men if the total pool of women footballers is a fraction of the men.

There is a chicken and egg argument where it can be argued that the low prize money in equivalent women's elite sport is a substaqntial reason that less women are competing. (Though if this is true then I should see the same numbers of women competing in competitive sports at all ages which I don't think I do.)

On the disadvantage of women in endurance sports like the TdF, there is some truth in that thinking. Women are, generally, at a disadvantage to men in power and endurance events. Muscle mass, low red cells fro example, exacerabated with periods. However, for a number of years Shelley Taylor Smith dominated distance swimming to the extent that many/most of the top men argued for a time that there should be a women's circuit and each circuit being restricted to a single gender. Shelly Talor Smith quite rightly scoffed at that and continued dominating on a male-dominated sport that is all about endurance.

So my starting point in any elite sports is that a woman should be able to compete if she is capable of doing so. On that basis I think it is up to the nay sayers to demonstrate a special case to exclude. Not the other way around.

Tennis is an example where women's sport can be every bit as attractive to sponsors as mens.

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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby thecaptn » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:03 pm

Professional sportspeople are paid based on how much money they can generate for the businesses they perform for. They are entertainers and the top levels can generate significant incolme for the associations they play for. Do you think Andy Murray earned the $30,000,000,000 he just scored winning Wimbledon? Our capitalist system says he did. If the fans watch women ride then the women will earn the money fair or not.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby nickobec » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:52 pm

How many of you have watched women racing?

Yes they rider shorter distances, yes they have smaller teams, but the racing is just as tactical as the men's and usually more aggressive, the shorter distances and smaller teams do that.

The only two women's races shown here last year was the Olympics and the World Championships and both IMHO were more entertaining and aggressive than the men's races.
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby grasshopper » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:23 pm

Rules can be very easily changed by a meeting of the UCI board (finally with a woman at the table in the past year) or ASO. So it depends where you're coming from - reasons it cannot be done, or how do we get it done.

If anyone wants to support women's pro cycling getting more exposure, have a look at Kathryn Bertine's petition (Vos, Pooley and others are in) for a women's division in next year's Tour. Details and link. After 100 years, maybe the next big frontier could be to think about a chicks' race oui? :o :wink:
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Re: Women excluded from the Tour de France ?

Postby Marty Moose » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:48 pm

To the op, its about having the strongest team at the end of the day.Having a woman in the team would not achieve that goal. Having a womens event is another story.

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