The 2019 road suits attacking riders, with five ascendings in a dynamic circuit but has failed to build on momentum to expand the one-day race
The 2019 edition of La Course by the Tour de France turns the spotlight on the puncheurs , the explosive all-rounders who induce the most of every attacking possibility. Riders such as a resurgent Marianne Vos, or the Women’s World Tour leader Annemiek van Vleuten, will be looking to cross the finishing line in Pau before their competitors from the 15 Women’s World Tour teams who are slated to appear.
This year’s one-day race moves away from the pancake-flat cobbles of the first three editions and the high altitude theatrics of last year’s duel in the Alps to a more dynamic circuit course with the climb of the 307 m Cote d’Esquillot likely to prove decisive. La Course will follow the route of the only time trial in the 2019 men’s Tour de France, riding the same testing circuit through the rolling hills around Pau. Shifting date to align with the men’s race on 19 July, La Course narrowly avoids an overlap with the Giro Rosa, the biggest stage race in the women’s cycling calendar.
Question marks remain over the commitment of the Amaury Sport Organisation( ASO ), the organiser of La Course and the Tour de France, to expanding the one-day race into a women’s grand tour. To Kathryn Bertine of La Tour Entier, the pressure group that successfully leveraged global activism to work with ASO and make La Course, the sixth edition is” a victory and a disappointment because ASO has not maintained its promise to Le Tour Entier that they would grow the days of the women’s race incrementally over the years “.
La Course continues to tracing the parcours of just one of the 21 stages of the men’s race, remaining 20 stages short of the original project to develop a viable women’s Tour de France. Bertine believes that La Course still has a purpose:” It reminds us that change is truly possible, but we must keep a watchful eye on victory and make sure we never settle for breadcrumbs of progress .”
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