New Paris-Roubaix race boosts women's cycling
PARIS: The COVID-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on the cycling calendar, but the cyclists were able to celebrate the addition of a new race in 2020 when the International Cycling Union ( ICU ) released its revised schedule on Tuesday.
The first edition of the Paris-Roubaix women's race will take place on October 25, a few hours before the men's race, famous for its dreaded cobblestone sections.
'Hell of the North', also known as the 'Queen of the Classics', will not be just a men's issue this year.
Organizers Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), owner of Paris-Roubaix but, most importantly, of the Tour de France, had been working on a major women's stage race to be held for the first time in 2021 after the Tour.
However, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics means it would have collided with the largest sporting event on the planet, so the creation of that race has now been delayed until 2022, Tour director. Christian Prudhomme he told Reuters on Tuesday.
Until then, women will have their own Paris-Roubaix.
We've been talking to stakeholders of women's cycling for five or six years, including (14-time Olympic and World Champion) Marianne Vos And what he was saying is that women, more than a race, needed media exposure, Prudhomme said.
And Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics, will give you that exhibition.
The elite Paris-Roubaix men's race is usually preceded by the junior event, but the race for the U-18 runners was canceled this year, leaving room for the women.
In the future, we will have to find other solutions, Prudhomme said when asked how the youth races and women's event would be organized in 2021.
In 2022, even if we can't promise anything, it would make sense to have Paris-Roubaix and the new stage race, he added.
International Cycling Union president David Lappartient said: "I've always been a great fan of Paris-Roubaix and we've been pushing a lot to help women's cycling. We're on our way to parity.
French cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot wrote on Twitter: A female version of Paris-Roubaix on October 25. Don't look elsewhere for something more beautiful today.