“I am very proud of the work done”testifies Marion Rousse, director of the Tour de France Women, which ends this Sunday at the end of the 8th and last stage between Lure and La Super Planche des Belles Filles (123.3 km), in the Vosges.
>> “With this name, it’s a suitable finish”: the Super Planche des Belles Filles, an unprecedented conclusion to the Women’s Tour de France
She gives a positive assessment of this first edition, marked by “cyclists who put on a great show every day” and “a public present and numerous at the edges of the roads”. Even though “there will certainly be a few things to change next year”Marion Rousse hopes above all that this Tour will allow sponsors to “put money” in women’s cycling, whose financial system “stay fragile”.
franceinfo: Is it faultless for this first edition?
Marion Rousse: Flawless, maybe not. I am a perfectionist and I think we can always do better. It’s a No. 1 year so there will certainly be a few small things to change next year, but I’m very proud of the work done, of the cyclists who gave us a great show every day, with a large crowd present at the roadsides.
“It was a bit of an unknown for us, but the media played the game and the audiences were there. I can only be happy as director of the Tour de France Women this morning.”Marion Rousse
Was cycling a men’s environment until now?
The question of women’s cycling had been around for a while. But our Tour comes at the right time, because women’s cycling needed to structure itself, financially speaking, sportingly speaking. I was myself a professional cyclist but I only had a professional name because I had to go to work to get a salary and feed myself. Since then the UCI, the International Cycling Union, has put a minimum wage in place for teams. The teams were divided into women’s but we needed this sounding board that is the Tour de France to bring women’s cycling into people’s daily lives.
Will the Women’s Tour de France take place every year?
See you next year already, and every year, on the same date just after the Men’s Tour. It will be a fourth week of the Tour, because it’s a real Tour de France.
When will the Women’s Tour stop being a mini Tour de France, shorter in duration?
We do not forbid ourselves anything. It is an objective that we have to extend this race, but for the moment the 8-day format is suitable for everyone because even if women’s cycling is evolving, the economic system remains fragile. Where the men are 30 to be able to be paid, the girls are 10 or 11, by teams.
If you put in a three-week race, you’re going to have to be stronger, not physically because they’re able to do it, but financially. I think our race will allow sponsors to take an interest in women’s cycling and put money into our sport. There, it will be the whole economic system of women’s cycling that will benefit.
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