The Tour de France Femmes was a resounding success. After years in the wilderness with no Yellow Jersey to dream, finally the women’s edition returned and so too did the crowds, which was to heartening to see. 

This was the real deal, and let’s hope that the great work put in at this Tour will be built upon, taking women’s cycling even further. 

Annemiek Van Vleuten on the Yellow Jersey:

“Before I said, for me, [the Maillot Jaune] was something for the guys, and I didn’t have a feeling for it. But then I saw Marianne Vos riding with it, and I have to say, it is a nice jersey, so it’s beautiful, a beautiful extra present of this excellent victory.”

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 Olivia Baril (Valcar Travel and Service): 

“‘Les femmes, les femmes!’ the fans scream when the riders pass. “We know we’re les femmes, but they chant it a lot, it’s so cool.”

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), who finished the race third overall:

“It’s very special because you see people from different ranges of age, young kids and my peers to older people, everyone is interested and it’s very beautiful. Because we don’t race very much in France normally I would never they have a culture for bicycles, I would always think of Holland or Belgium first, so it’s really nice to see that here.

“It definitely was one of the hardest races we’ve ever done. And it was amazing to see all the fans on the side of the road. We received a lot of energy, it motivated us to go harder. The attention from social media and TV was also special. It was really nice to be in this position to give something to the public and that the public gives back to us.”

 DSM’s Juliette Labous, 4th overall:

“I didn’t expect this much, I knew there would be a lot of people but I didn’t expect as much as this. It’s really amazing and I have the feeling every day there’s more people cheering. I hear a my name a lot so I’m always proud and I feel my legs a bit less when I hear the crowd.”

DS at SD Worx Anna van der Breggen:

“It’s a big step, it’s really big step. The media attention is something we’ve never seen before. There are still a lot of things we see that are different from men’s cycling, but this is a highlight in the development of women’s cycling.”

Marianne Vos, Team Jumbo Visma:

“It has been an amazing week but yeah that makes me more satisfying. It was a great pleasure to be part at this first Tour.”

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Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

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