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In 2014, the first edition of the French cycling race La Course by Le Tour de France was held. None other than Marianne Vos was the first to win the one-day women’s edition of the Tour de France. This Saturday the Dutch rider will be at the start again on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma Women.
The French cycling race was created in 2014, partly on Vos’ initiative, as an impetus for a possible future return of the Tour de France for women. Vos won the bunch sprint at the first edition on the Champs-Élysées. “The first edition was very special. I can still remember how great it felt to arrive there with the peloton and race through the historic streets of Paris in front of the world. The beautiful arrival on the Champs-Élysées was something I only knew from TV and now we were riding there ourselves.”
Two years later, Vos was on the podium again, finishing third in the bunch sprint. In 2019 she won for the second time, this time on the course in and around Pau. The final edition took place in Nice in 2020, where Vos managed to sprint to second place from a leading group of six.
"The beautiful arrival on the Champs-Élysées was something I only knew from TV and now we were riding there ourselves."
On Saturday, the eighth edition will take place between Brest and Landerneau. Just like the first stage for the men, but on a route of 107.4 kilometres. The new course has the same features as the previous edition and ends with a fourteen kilometre hilly circuit that has to be ridden three times before finishing on top of the Cote de la Fosse Aux Loops. “The course this year will make for a tough race”, Vos said. “In Brittany, generally no stretch of road is flat and it will make for an exhausting race. On the local laps with the climb of La Fosse aux Loups, there will be a lot of attacks and the riders with the best legs will fight for victory.”
With the announcement of the re-entry of the Tour de France for women, which was last run in 2009 under the name La Grande Boucle Feminine, La Course could be the last one-day version of the race this year. From 2022, the Tour de France for women will be back on the calendar. “It’s very nice that the Tour de France for women is coming back to the calendar as a full-fledged stage race. With opportunities for different specialists and all the elements that make cycling so beautiful. So boys and girls can dream of the yellow jersey.”