By Jonny Long published
A women's Tour de France will take place in 2022, UCI President David Lappartient has said.
Whether it will share the 'Tour de France' name or exactly how it will look, is not yet known. What is certain, according to Lappartient, is that French Grand Tour organiser ASO will launch a women's version of the stage race in 2022.
"I am assured that ASO will be ready to put this event on the calendar in 2022. This is a very good step in the further development of women's cycling," the Frenchman told Wielerflits.
"Whether this race will also be called Tour de France, I don't know yet," he continued, yet other sources have indicated to the Dutch news site that the race will start in Paris on the day the men arrive on the Champs-Élysées for stage 21, then racing for the following eight days.
Lappartient says he has asked ASO in previous years to provide more women's races, and that the upcoming debut women's Paris-Roubaix was a great chance for both the organisers and the UCI to make something good come out of the coronavirus break.
"I have often emphasised to ASO in recent years that they should organise more women's competitions," Lappartient continued. The new calendar for 2020 gave me the opportunity to put Paris-Roubaix on the calendar. ASO also understood that we had to come up with good news after that corona break. There were positive reactions from all quarters to this 'hell of the north' for women."
The coronavirus lockdown saw a virtual Tour de France take place for both men and women, with many riders heralding the parity of the event.
In between the first-ever women's Paris-Roubaix and the 2022 Tour de France event, 2021 will see Jumbo-Visma, one of the biggest team's in the men's bunch, enter the women's peloton.
Winner of La Course 2019, Marianne Vos, has been linked as a potential team leader for the new squad, and supermarket chain sponsor Jumbo as well as incoming bike supplier Cérvelo pushed the team to create a women's outfit.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.