Will Women Race in the Tour de France in 2014?

Women are fighting for the chance to race in the Tour de France for the first time in the race's 100 year-history.

tour de france crowd
(Image credit: Archive)

The world's most famous bicycle race, the Tour de France, has been around for 100 years and has stuck to its traditional roots since its inception: all male riders. Now, some of the biggest names in women's cycling want a chance at the yellow jersey, and are taking action with an online petition.

While the Tour de France has always been a mens-only race, women had a tour of their own for a period of time. The Tour Feminin was held from 1984 to 2009, but as can often happen with women's sports, the race received scant media coverage and suffered from lack of coverage. Rather than reinstating the Tour Feminin, this petition is asking for the entry of women into the men's race.

The petition has some big name supporters, like Olympic gold medalist Marianne Vos and British Olympian Emma Pooley, the last Tour Feminin winner. Riders and petition organizers claim that allowing women to participate in the race "will also create an equal opportunity to debunk the myths of physical limitations placed on female athletes." Their letter addressed to Tour Director Christian Prudhomme told him it's time that "women are allowed to race in the Tour de France, too." Here at MC, we have to say we agree.

Diana is a producer at ELLE.com. She previously wrote for MarieClaire.com. Diana is a Syracuse grad and a Chicago native, and therefore a pro at dealing with cold weather. She's also an Anglophile, which means she love all things British—especially Downton Abbey, London, and Will and Kate (and Prince George!)