Women's Tour de France confirmed to return in 2022

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme says the race must not lose money or it won't continue

Lizzie Deignan pips Marianne Vos at La Course by Le Tour 2020 in Nice
(Image credit: David Stockman/Getty Images)

The Tour de France organiser has confirmed that the revived women's Tour de France will take place shortly after the men's event in the summer of 2022.

The general director of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), Christian Prudhomme, has officially confirmed that the women's Tour will return to the racing calendar for the first time since 1989.

The race has been rumoured to be in the pipeline for some time with UCI president, David Lappartient confirming last year that the event will happen in 2022 (opens in new tab)

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Prudhomme has now officially confirmed this news to The Guardian (opens in new tab) saying the event was set to take place this year, but with the Covid-19 pandemic and the Olympics likely taking all the best riders, they decided to hold off till 2022.

Prudhomme said: “The decision has been taken. There will be a Tour de France femmes in 2022 following closely after the [men’s] Tour.”

He continued that the women's race should have its own identity away from the male side of the sport and create its own history.

“In my view, you have to put to one side the idea of parity between men and women," Prudhomme said. "Why? Because there was a reason why that race only lasted for six years, and that was a lack of economic balance. What we want to do is create a race that will stay the course, that will be set up and stand the test of time. What that means is that the race cannot lose money." 

Prudhomme said that every women's race that ASO organises loses money but it still continues to fund Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course, and will be running a first Paris-Roubaix later this year.

He added that if the women's Tour loses money then it will be much like the race in the 1980s and "die" again.

“If that balance had been achieved then, we would be on our 35th women’s Tour now," Prudhomme said. "The challenge is to set up a race that can live for 100 years. That’s why we want it to follow the men’s Tour, so that the majority of the channels which broadcast the men’s Tour will cover it as well.”

Women's cycling is on the up with new races added to the calendar for upcoming seasons, including the new six-day stage race 'Battle of the North' in Scandinavia alongside live coverage of the Giro Rosa. The British stage race, the Women's Tour, will also return to its position in the calendar after a year out due to Covid-19.

There has been no information about what the route will be like for the new Tour de France next year, but Prudhomme has said that they won't be looking for the hardest or steepest climbs but rather they will link to the past, which will potentially mean using some of the climbs made famous by the men's race.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.