Day 185: Women in the Tour de France?

7 07 2010

Recently we heard a trivia question: “Who was the first american to win the Tour de France?” Most people sitting around us guessed Greg Lemond. Supposedly, the correct answer was Marianne Martin, a 27-year-old female road cyclist who won the first Tour de France for women in 1984.

Now, I’ve not been cycling for very long and I’m certainly no expert on the Tour de France, but I had no idea that women were ever included in the Tour. So I looked for more information online and here’s what I found: according to Wikipedia, “the Grande Boucle, formerly known as the Tour Cycliste Féminin” started in 1984 and was billed as the “Women’s Tour de France.” At least that’s what it was called until 1997 when the organizers of the Tour de France decided it was a trademark infringement. In 1998 the name was changed to the Grance Boucle.

When Marianne Martin won in 1984, she rode the 616-mile course in 29 hours, 39 minutes, and 2 seconds. The race was held in July during the last two weeks of the men’s Tour and had 18 stages. Later, in 2008, the race was six days (seven stages) and in 2009 it was four days long. I also just realized there’s a women’s Giro d’Italia also (referred to as the “Giro Donne”). I guess I’ve got a lot to learn.

I don’t mean this to sound as snarky as it will probably seem, but how is a 616-mile race (the Women’s Tour) the same thing as the men’s 2200-mile race? Maybe it was called “Tour de Part of France.” Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fantastic an American woman won the event. And a 616-mile race is certainly an amazing accomplishment. But is it really the same thing as the men’s Tour de France? I’m sure there are many of you cycling people out there who can explain the history of women in the Tour to me.

Today’s food journal:

— Organic LF yogurt with granola = 450 cal.

— 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat = 190
— Salad with ranch dressing = 178
— Diet Coke = 0

— Grilled chicken sandwich = 262
— Homemade potato salad = 358
— Iced tea = 0

— Skinny Cow ice cream cup = 150

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.



One response

27 01 2011

AMEN! I am a Student at the University of Tulsa ( and an avid triathlete and cyclist) one of my classes ( Women and Sport) we were just discussing this issue. Its one that i have tried to research and find a logical answer to for a while, why no women in tour? great post enjoyed reading it! 🙂

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